During stressful times, I like to unwind by kicking back on the couch with some games on my iPhone, and I know I am not the only one out there who does this. Plus, as a person who doesn’t like to let her brain just melt into mush while relaxing, I’m a big fan of puzzle games, especially those that test my reflexes and skills rather than just matching things up. So when I heard of Orph, I was intrigued, and I have to admit that it brings back a little bit of nostalgia as it reminds me of the classic Jezzball that I used to play on my old computers.
The graphics in in Orph are stylish and minimalistic, which I love. It’s simple and clean with dark color gradient backgrounds that also feature geometric patterns, and the colored balls and lines are bright and vibrant, providing nice contrast against the dark backdrops. There are also some rather subtle animations while on the level select screen and even as you transition into a stage. Animations in the game are smooth and fluid, with no lag on my iPhone 6s Plus. The ambient music is also rather mesmerizing and immersive, and should help you focus on solving the puzzles as fast as you can.
Like many other puzzle games, Orph is based on levels, and players must progress through them one-by-one. At the moment, there are 50 levels in the game, but the developer is promising more in the future, so there is something to look forward to if you manage to beat them all. The objective in each stage is to get the colored balls into their correct places, and new mechanics are introduced as you go. While the game sounds easy at first, things get complex and difficult as more balls come in at once and the colored areas they’re supposed to go in are smaller and more specific.
Controls in Orph are simple and fairly easy to understand. Players will slide lines around to position the gap properly for the balls to pass through, or tap on a line to change the color so that only one color can go through at a time. Sometimes you may have to tap on the ball itself to have it “disappear” and then show up again to reach its destination. As new gameplay mechanics appear, the game will give players directions on how to use them, so the difficultly level of Orph is friendly and gradual.
Up to three stars can be earned on each stage, and how many you receive at the end is determined by how fast you were able to solve the puzzle. Due to this, the game has a bit of replay value, as you’ll want to strive for fastest times on all levels. There is also Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements, so there is plenty of reason to keep coming back.
As a big fan of these types of games, I am enjoying Orph a lot so far. The simple aesthetics are pleasing on the eyes, the atmospheric music is captivating, controls are intuitive, and the gameplay mechanics are interesting and more challenging as you advance. The only thing I don’t like about the game is the fact that it’s free so there are ads and constant pushes for App Store ratings, but if you can ignore those, then the game is still fun. If the ads bother you too much, then there is the option of a $0.99 in-app purchase to remove them, but that is completely optional.
I recommend giving Orph a try for yourself if you’re in the mood for a puzzle that tests your reflexes and attentiveness. You can find Orph on the App Store as a free universal download with an in-app purchase for ad removal.