Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes, but each one comes down to managing the delicate balance of challenge and enjoyment. Mosaique is a new iOS puzzle game that offers a floating assortment of colored squares that you need to fire other squares into to make matches, and clear the board. There are many subtle intricacies on that base, beginning with the fact that you can move your launcher completely around the board, and fire from any direction. Each time you send a block into the mass, you either make a match to clear the squares, or the current color is replaced with the one you hit. To add to the challenge, there’s a shot meter at the bottom of the screen that can replenish with matches, or deplete when not making matches.
The main goal is to clear combos of the same color as the block you fire keeps going through the same color, and only stops at another color, a black square, or the end of the line. The game is built so that you determine the strategy involved as you can dive into the complexities to any degree you like. As you advance, you will realize that you can swap out some colors on a line to make for one big long chain of the same color. Through it all, there are just seven levels at a time to play through on a mobile basis. At the same time, there are algorithmically generated levels, so there’s always a unique layout to play. The most intriguing aspect is that the game encourages you to play one set of seven levels for seven days straight for bonuses.
It’s a very well made puzzle game with surprisingly ornate colored squares that have ripple effects when new squares come colliding in. There’s also a nice soundtrack, but even with the high quality design, the entire game is relatively simplistic. There’s just not much depth making for practically the same game experience each time you fire it up. It also may be too easy, and the daily seven level set-up doesn’t prevent the game from getting stale very quickly. As soon as you play a couple of level sets, you’re left asking yourself, “Is that it?”. It looks so promising at first glance, but you’re left with a little well made mini-game. The interface is also rudimentary relying on big archaic buttons, which don’t allow for quick rotation of your launcher, nor intuitive directional controls.
Mosaique ($0.99, Universal) is a finely crafted puzzle experience that is just so shallow, and simple in scope. Every aspect of the game leaves you wanting more, and it’s just too simple to recommend despite the good qualities.