Motif. ($1.99) by Tarik Canturk is an artistic puzzle game that is both relaxing and challenging. If you enjoyed other recent titles such as Linelight and Vignettes, then there's a good chance you'll like what Motif brings to the table.
Life has been rather stressful for me as of late, so I have found myself taking refuge in more games of all kinds. It's a perfect retreat from reality for me, as I can forget about my troubles for a while and still keep my mind stimulated. One of my favorite genres are puzzles, and while I feel like I've played them all, I can't help but look for new ones to try. When I saw Motif on the App Store this week, I was intrigued because it looked so simple — there had to be more to this, right? Out of curiosity, I gave it a chance, and it's a perfect way to relax.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Motif is as simple as they come. The game is entirely in black and white, featuring basic lines and shapes for the graphics. The only bit of color that you'll find is the red dot representing a handle in which you drag the parts with. The game is rendered in 2D so everything is flat and minimalistic, which should be appealing to those who prefer this aesthetic. Animations are smooth and fluid, including the subtle falling snow overlay. There's a soothing atmospheric soundtrack that plays in the background, and the sound effects are rather whimsical. As a fan of simplicity, I think the developer did a great job with Motif's visual and audio design.
Like most puzzle games, Motif is level-based. That means that players must solve the previous puzzle before they are allowed to move on to the next one. At the moment, Motif contains over 100 puzzles for you to figure out.
The goal of each puzzle is to recreate the desired motif, shown at the top of the screen, with the pieces that are given to you. The play area is divided into a specific number of pieces for each stage, and the parts are equally symmetrical to the number of pieces the board is split up into. Because of this, players must be careful when they are choosing where to place the pieces.
Controls in Motif are natural and intuitive. You can only move the one piece, which is marked by the red dot. Drag it around with your finger and watch as it splits up into multiple copies of the same piece. It will spin and shift as you move it around. You want to position it so that all of the pieces match up with the indicated motif at the top.
The game is able to recognize if you're stuck due to repeated shifting of the pieces, but never getting the solution. Once this happens, there's a signal in the top right corner that informs you of a hint system. However, the catch is that you can only get one hint a day, so use it wisely.
The nice thing about Motif is the fact that you aren't penalized for taking too long, and there aren't any move restrictions in place. Even though the puzzles get trickier as you advance, it's still relaxing because you play at your own pace.
Motif is a simple yet challenging puzzle that's all about recreating art.
Motif looks like a barebones game, but the concept is unique and artistic. If you're a fan of simple design, then you're sure to appreciate the aesthetic here. Controls are simple and straightforward, and the puzzles are fun to solve. Even if you don't get it on the first try, watching the lines shift and come together can be rather mesmerizing to watch. This is a great way to unwind after a long day.
While I like Motif for what it is, there are still some flaws. For one, I don't like that I only get one hint a day. I don't think that is enough, honestly. Maybe two or three a day, but you just get one more added daily until it's full. Something like that is a bit more reasonable, at least to me. I also wish that there were more colors in the game, because just black and white can get boring after a while. Still, these don't affect the gameplay too much, and are just small quirks.
As a fan of puzzle games, I'm enjoying Motif so far, even though I've only downloaded it this morning. I love simply designed games, and Motif falls under that category well. The gameplay is also fun and challenging, though things start out easy enough. Controls are responsive as well, so there's no issue there. I just wish more hints were available, but it's not a deal breaker.
I recommend giving Motif a try if you're in the mood for a relaxing and artistic puzzler. Motif is available on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.