Ruya ($0.99) by Miracle Tea Studios is a tranquil puzzle game that is perfect to unwind with after a long day. If you enjoyed recent titles like ERMO, Campfire Cooking, and PUSH, then you will love what Ruya has to offer.
I tend to think of myself as a person who gets worried and stressed out over almost anything, so you can only imagine how hectic life can be. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I like to just sit down and play some video games. My preferred cup of tea for iOS games are puzzles, of course, because they're relaxing and stimulating. So when I saw Ruya, I knew that this was something I had to have. Needless to say, this one does not disappoint.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Ruya is beautiful with a simple and clean design. Everything is rendered in 2D, but the artwork seems to pop thanks to the subtle backgrounds. The setting of Ruya takes place in a world of dreams, so you get to see a variety of surreal landscapes. The color palette in Ruya ranges with a nice mix of soft pastels and bolder hues that provide nice contrast with the darker background shades. The ambient soundtrack is packed with tranquil nature sounds, such as rainfall, snow, and wind, so it's the ultimate atmospheric experience. The sound effects as you connect the pieces together are also soothing.
Like many other puzzle games, Ruya is level-based. There are eight chapters, with eight levels each. In the beginning of each level, you get to see a memory of Ruya's, so a story unfolds as you make progress.
Each puzzle must be completed before players can move on to the next one, so it's fairly linear. There are no hints either, but the game does not require any, as the entire experience is designed to help you relax.
The game does not have a star system, points, or even impose a time limit, so you can play at your own pace. The only restriction are the number of moves you're allotted per stage, but even this is not a big deal. The puzzles can get challenging, but they can all be solved within a few attempts.
So how do you play? Every stage features a different layout on the grid, and there will be some colored pieces to start with. If a piece is in a bubble, that means it takes two matches to clear it out, and the bubble nets you some extra moves, which can be rather helpful. At the bottom are colored characters to match with the game pieces on the board. A number on them indicates the amount of colored pieces you need to complete the puzzle.
At the top, Ruya appears and can add more colored pieces to the board if needed — just tap on an empty space for her to add a piece (this doesn't count as a move). There's also a specific pattern shown that you need to match when you connect like-colored pieces together for it to count. To connect the pieces together, just use your finger to trace a line through the pieces you want to use.
If the board fills up and there are no possible moves left, you lose a move and the board gets reshuffled. More moves are added if you pop the bubbles that pieces are in, and those don't count until they're popped, adding to the challenge.
Ruya is a fantastic gem of a puzzle game for those seeking a zen-like experience.
Ruya is a fantastic gem of a puzzle game for those seeking a zen-like experience. The game features adorable and endearing graphics that are colorful and appealing. The sound design is well done, adding an extra layer to the overall mood of the game. I love the dreamscapes that the game features, because it definitely helps me de-stress after a long day. While the gameplay is not completely original, the developers added enough differences in it to make it unique and distinctive from the competition.
The puzzles in Ruya go from simple to a bit more difficult at a gradual pace. However, every stage can be completed after a few tries, so it's never overwhelmingly difficult. This is a game that everyone can enjoy, and it's a wonderful way to just kick back and relax.
While Ruya is an excellent game, it may not be challenging enough for those seeking something more stimulating. If that's what you're after, then you should probably look elsewhere. But if you just want a game to take your mind off of things for a bit, then this is perfect.
I've only started playing Ruya this morning, but I fell in love immediately. The game's cute visuals are bound to melt your heart, and the music is delightful. Controls are intuitive, and the game does a good job of explaining how to play with the subtle tutorial in the beginning. Discovering Ruya's memories is a pleasant journey, and nothing feels overwhelming. The only thing that could improve this game is more levels in the future, so hopefully the developers have considered that. This is a game that I'm going to keep coming back to time and time again until it's finished.
I highly recommend grabbing Ruya if you're a fan of peaceful puzzle games. You can find Ruya on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $0.99. There are no in-app purchases.