VIAM ($0.99) by multifuk is a unique puzzle game that pleases your eyes and causes excess hair loss, all in one clean swipe.
Games like Puzzlejuice and SpellTower proved that simple art styles can score large followings in the iOS community. VIAM piggybacks on titles like these with its minimalistic design, starring circles and triangles dressed in a catchy color scheme.
The goal of the game is to get your light blue circle from the left side of the screen to the green dot on the right side of the screen. This sounds simple, but as you progress through the 24 levels, new obstacles are added making your task increasingly complex.
To begin with, you will only have to deal with stationary gray obstacles. Later, you will face circles that move vertically when you move vertically, and others that vanish with each step you take. Land on one of the obstacles and you are sent back to the beginning of the level. With several different types of obstacles in the same level, things get extremely hectic, and at times you might be driven to the brink of insanity before solving a level. Hopefully you won’t go insane playing this game, but if you do, plug in your headphones and listen to the soothing background music.
However, the controls are the one thing detracting from the clean art style and difficult levels. At the bottom of the screen there are four arrows for movement: vertical movement on the left, and horizontal movement on the right. This layout works well enough, but there is some delay after you push a button before you can make another move. This delay forces you to play at a slower pace, and it makes things frustrating, especially after failing a level multiple times.
Apart from the controls, VIAM is a solid puzzle game. Achievements and leaderboards are included through Game Center, with achievements for completing each level, and leaderboards to see who completed the levels in the fewest number of moves. Even with the leaderboards, VIAM’s replay value isn’t great. More levels definitely need to be added, and a few new obstacle types wouldn’t hurt either.
With its crisp art style and simple yet challenging gameplay, VIAM is an engaging experience. While the puzzle masters among us might have little difficulty completing the levels, the rest of us will have quite the time scrambling our way through. If the developer continues to support the title and provide new levels, I can see VIAM building a strong following of gamers. Until then, see how long it takes you to beat all 24 levels.