Like the best mobile puzzle games, the premise of Puzzle Restorer seems effortlessly simple at first glance. Tasked with restoring paintings back to their former glory, you need to use your fingers to create colored lines between colored points on a canvas grid. The catch? You can only use a limited number of brush-strokes to complete each masterpiece, and you can only spread so many blobs of paint over the grid in total.
At the top of the screen you see a small outline of the painting you're attempting to restore, and a quick tap on it expands it so you can get a closer look at the finer detail. We found it a little distracting to have to switch our concentration between our progress on the screen and the blown-up picture, but squint and you can just about deduce the grid squares from the smaller picture.
It's a game with a fairly tricky learning curve, and that challenge spike is paired off with a pretty basic tutorial. Thrown straight into the first puzzle it took us a little while to work out that you need to choose a starting color for your brush-strokes to commence from, and that they need to finish on an identical color. Once you get into the swing of things though you should breeze through the early puzzles.
Things get more complicated over time, however. You might have to mix up red and yellow colors to create orange, and continue doing all of this with the same limited number of brush-strokes and blobs of paint that you had in the earlier game. Then there are the mystery paintings, which flip the rules of the game upside-down entirely.
You'll get your head around it all eventually, but the game has a tendency to throw a little too much at you, and then keep it coming before you've had the opportunity to practice with your current level of competence.
All that's required though is a little willingness to teach yourself, along with the patience to dig deeper into the game's surprising charms. Puzzle Restorer won't be to everyone's tastes, but if you're ready for a stiff challenge this is one puzzle game you won't want to miss out on.Download Puzzle Restorer (iOS)
What's Hot:A wonderfully presented puzzle game that isn't afraid to shake up the core gameplay.
What's Not:The learning curve is quite erratic and you may find it overwhelming.