Linia ($1.99) by Yari D'areglia is a colorful puzzle game that’s all about finding sequences and being in rhythm. If you enjoyed other recent games like Polyforge and The Little Fox, then Linia is another game that is right up your alley.
While it seems that a lot of my gaming lately involves hunting (either Pokémon Go or Monster Hunter Generations on my 3DS), sometimes I just want to take a break from both and relax but challenge myself at the same time. This is when I like to turn to the many puzzle games I have on my iPhone. Even though it seems like I have almost every puzzle game out on the App Store, I’m always looking for new ones to check out, especially if they have gameplay mechanics that differentiate themselves from the crowd. So when I laid my eyes on Linia on the App Store, I had to try it for myself.
In terms of visuals, Linia is rather stunning with the clean, minimalistic style. Everything you see will be flat and 2-D, but the animations are buttery smooth and rather hypnotic at times. The game is rather colorful with hues that range from soft pastels to bright and vibrant tones. Linia has an atmospheric and ambient background track that helps you relax, despite the rather unforgiving gameplay. The game also has some whimsical sound effects that serve as nice audible feedback when you correctly get the sequence or not, so I recommend playing the game with the sound on, as well as a good pair of headphones if you truly want to immerse yourself.
Linia, like many other puzzle games, is level based, and you’re going to have to go through them one-by-one in order to move forward. However, the goal is simple enough that anyone can understand it: match the color sequences that you see at the top by tracing a line through colored shapes. Easy peasy, right? Well yeah, the game starts out with shapes that stay put right where they are, but then you’ll find more colors, more shapes, rotating and moving shapes, shapes that change colors, shapes that fade in and out, and much more. The puzzles become much more intricate, complex, and harder to solve. Fortunately, though, there are no time limits or move restrictions, so you can take as long as you want on a stage. And if you make mistakes, you don’t get penalized — you just restart and try again. In a time where so many games seem to impose limits on you to solve puzzles, it’s nice to see more lenient ones like Linia, though the game itself is rather challenging.
Controls in Linia are straightforward — connect the colored shapes together by drawing a line through them, with the intent to match the sequence that is displayed at the top of the screen. However, you have to think fast while memorizing the pattern because as things start moving around and changing colors, things get tricky. When the line is drawn, you’ll see circles that magnify the colors that the line touched, indicating whether or not you matched the correct sequence. Checkmarks also tell you when you’ve matched something, while X’s show mistakes, also meaning you’ll have to try again. And if there are two blocks of the same color consecutively, it counts as one part of the sequence, so keep that in mind.
I am not too far into Linia, but I’m enjoying it so far, despite the increasing difficulty levels. The game starts out simple enough, but once you have changing colors, fading in and out, and rotating shapes, you truly have to pay attention and be on your toes to get the sequences correct. Focus is super important, because you’ll want to learn the movement patterns and then get into the rhythm of things before you try to connect. It’s a relaxing game but still stimulating, plus the minimalistic aesthetics and ambient music is a great touch. I did get a bit flustered at some levels at times, but through persistence, I managed to persevere.
I recommend checking out Linia if you’re into challenging puzzle games with a twist. Linia can be found on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $1.99. There are no in-app purchases.