TanZen HD ($2.99) by Little White Bear Studios is a classic puzzle game of Tangrams where you arrange pieces into one overall shape. You spin and flip pieces in the shape of triangles and squares to create a swan, fox, raven, and more. The app comes in two flavors, iPhone and HD/iPad. The game is a relaxing zen type experience with no time limits or score, and instead it’s all about completing the puzzles. Each object has the same seven pieces you need to arrange in just one way to fill the object. The app features over 500 puzzles to keep you at it for a long time to come.
TanZen is one of the best puzzle games around to truly get you thinking. You can use tons of different strategies, and every time be amazed just how the pieces fit together. It is effortless to control the game by simply dragging the pieces, double tap to flip, and drag your finger on the highlighted circle to rotate.
Of all the levels, you can play any of them at any time you want rather than having to complete one to unlock the next. The gameplay is amazing, and the app itself is superb with the package it’s delivered in. It’s a beautifully designed game with amazing production values.
From the first time you open the app you’ll be lost in the beautifully simple environment with the sand garden type background and variously textured pieces. Also included is a wonderful zen soundtrack that further immerses you in the relaxing environment. Once you enter the app you’ll lose track of time in the zen environment.
The game seems simple at first, but soon you’ll be scratching your head to find the place and orientation of each of the seven pieces. The app recognizes when the puzzle is solved, and warns you when pieces are overlapping. One great aspect is that the app saves where you leave the pieces for multiple puzzles you’re working on.
The iPhone version is the classic original that works great on the small device, and provides the same zen immersion. The iPad version redesigns all the graphics that is most noticeable by the deluxe intricate textures of the pieces. When you complete a page of puzzles you unlock a new skin to play with, with 35 in total.
The iPad version is definitely easier to control with the additional room to maneuver and rotate the pieces. On the iPhone sometimes you accidentally touch within the circle of another piece while trying to rotate a piece. The iPad version also features slight variations on the same overall shape as well as puzzle selection layout.
TanZen is just such a challenging puzzle game, but the zen type experience keeps you from tossing your idevice away in frustration. Rather than feeling the pressures of time you can take as long as you want, and switch between puzzles at will. Once you begin a puzzle you will definitely want to complete it, even if it’s over multiple sessions, and this feeling will expand through many puzzles giving you way more than your money’s worth.
TanZen & TanZen HD are easy to review at once since they are so similar, and such high quality. TanZen is a must buy for the iPhone at $1.99 giving you loads of enjoyable puzzles that combine challenge with a relaxing atmosphere. TanZen HD is equally a must buy for $2.99 by providing a much more immersive zen experience that takes advantage of the extra room and power well.
If you already own the iPhone version the iPad version isn’t quite as recommended since the iPhone is passable running at 2x. The puzzles are arranged differently so you will play levels you may never have gotten to, and there are slight variations in the same overall shape. No matter what idevice you have, if you’re a puzzle fan TanZen is a wonderful treat.