When I’m stressed out, I like to sit back with some video games to take my mind off of things. For the most part, this methodology works well, because I end up losing track of time for hours. One of my favorite genres of games to help me unwind are puzzle games, as they’re stimulating, challenging, yet relaxing at the same time. Plus, I love seeing if I can beat my previous high score on another attempt. While it feels like I’ve gone through all the App Store has to offer in terms of puzzles, I’m always on the lookout for something new. So when I saw Color Magnet on the App Store this week, I had to check it out for myself.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Color Magnet features a minimalist aesthetic that is pleasing to the eyes. The game appears in 2-D throughout, but there’s a slight depth to the tiles due to the perspective, so it pops out a bit more than you’d expect. There’s two color modes: Day and Night. Day features a grayish, off-white background with a soft, pastel-like color scheme that stands out well. Night features a pitch black background with brighter and more vibrant hues that provide excellent contrast. When tiles get cleared out, there’s a subtle explosion to go along with it, and the particle effects are fun to watch. Animations are smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 7. To top it all off, there’s a quirky and catchy jazz-like soundtrack, which I found to be soothing. The clicking sound effects are fun to hear too.
There are three game modes in Color Magnet: Classic, Universal, and Puzzle. Classic Mode gives players five turns per level (at which another row comes in from the top) and you must shoot both magnets and locked blocks. Universal grants three turns per level, and you only get to shoot magnet blocks. Plus, everyone who plays this mode gets the same sequence of blocks, so it’s almost like a daily challenge. Puzzle allows players to choose the color magnets that they want to use in order to clear the board. This mode involves the most thinking, because you want to clear everything in one shot.
Controls in Color Magnet are simple enough: just drag your finger along the bottom of the screen to move the next tile and align it with the column that you want to shoot it into. Color magnets will change the color of blocks in between the magnet and another color block in the row or column. To get matches and clear out tiles, you need at least five of one color to make them pop off. Locked blocks change to a random color if they’re between two color magnets, and cross blocks will stop any color changes going past them and can’t match. Your clusters of like-colored blocks can be both horizontal and vertical, with bigger groups causing chain reactions that lead to more points.
The more chain reactions and combos you can pull off, the more points you earn. When the tiles cross the threshold at the bottom of the screen, that means it’s game over. Your score depends on how many tiles you’ve cleared out, and combos reward more points. Color Magnet features leaderboards so you can compete with friends and other players all over the globe. There’s also achievements that keep you coming back for more.
Color Magnet is a unique puzzle game because it adds a fresh new concept to the traditional match-three formula that we all know and love.
Color Magnet is a unique puzzle game because it adds a fresh new concept to the traditional match-three formula that we all know and love. The game’s minimalistic visuals are appealing, especially with the two different color modes so you can play anytime of day. Controls are intuitive and feel natural enough for anyone to pick up. The game modes are all distinctive enough to feel different but have the same premise.
I’ve seen all of the different types of puzzle games out there, but Color Magnet’s concept of magnets to change block colors and make matches is definitely an interesting and refreshing change.
While Color Magnet is great, there are some flaws. I found that the game wants you to have your finger precisely on the tile to shoot it. Personally, I would rather just be able to slide my finger along anywhere on the bottom to have the block move, because the precision isn’t necessary when it highlights the column you’d be aiming at.
Another thing is the fact that the game does not let players listen to their own audio in the background because the game music takes over. I’m not a fan of games or apps that take over the device audio for themselves only, so I hope that the developer changes this in an update.
As a puzzle game fan, I love the uniqueness of Color Magnet. The game mechanic is definitely different, so it’s not like anything you’ve tried on the App Store. While it is a match-three (technically five) at its core, the magnet aspect means a lot of possibilities as far as making matches goes, and it requires a good amount of critical thinking at some points to get out of a sticky situation. Plus, the simple and clean graphics look great, and the music is soothing. This one is definitely a keeper.
I recommend checking out Color Magnet if you’re looking for a puzzle game that isn’t the same old match-three that you’ve played before. Color Magnet is on the App Store as a universal download on your iPhone and iPad for $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.