An elegant but limited puzzling gem.
Come to Winning Blimp's new match-up game Mosaique expecting anything like the sparkling, explosive gameplay of a Candy Crush Saga or a Bejewelled and you'll be left a little disappointed. This instead is a much more thoughtful puzzle game, based around one of the most elegant matching designs we've seen for some time.
You're given a series of colored squares that you can move 360 degrees around the screen to fire at the existing cluster of squares that sit in the center of each level. Fire it into a square of the same color, or a continuous series of those squares, and they'll evaporate from the board, leaving the square you fired in place. Fire it at a square of a different color, and they'll swap out, giving you that new color to play with. The objective is to clear the screen of every square, but there's a catch.
At the bottom of the screen, you have to keep an eye on your shot gauge. Each square you fire pushes the meter down slightly, and if it runs out completely then you'll fail the level, and have to start all over again. Clear long lines of squares at once though and it fills up, and once it maxes out completely you'll be able to fire a blistering shot that takes out an entire column or row of mixed color squares.
That's not all. The game is comprised of a single mode where you battle through seven increasingly different levels in pursuit of a high score. The state of the shot gauge persists throughout your progression through the game, and so it's incredibly important to clear early levels cleanly and efficiently, so as to leave yourself with plenty of fuel in the tank for the tougher challenges ahead.
This simplicity and novel approach of Mosaique is really where it falls short a little. Once you've played through those seven increasingly difficult rounds, what you really want to do is not dive back into the beginning to do it all over again, but dip into different modes - timed, high-score chasing, challenge modes and so on. It's such an elegant design that you just want to play with it in new and interesting ways.
If that's by design, it's a bit of a shame. If it's a question of waiting for a little bit of success on the App Store, then hopefully we'll see Winning Blimp flesh out its creation, and expand the game to what we think is its full potential. Until that time, what we're left with is an outstanding puzzle game that just feels a little limited, and needs a little more life breathed into it.
What's Hot:An elegant and refreshing change from the usual puzzling pace.
What's Not:There's plenty of potential to build on this unique gameplay, but we found the novelty wore off quickly as things stand.