Noda (Free) by ZealTopia Interactive is a challenging numeric puzzle game that will get your brain juices flowing. If you enjoyed other stimulating math puzzles like Leg·end·ar·y, Threes!, and GREG, but want a bit of Dots thrown in to the mix, then Noda will be a perfect fit for your gaming needs.
While I’m not much of a math person, I’m a big sucker for puzzle games. I just can’t seem to get enough of them on my iOS devices — they’re usually aesthetically pleasing and the gameplay can certainly be creative and challenging. It’s always a genre of game that I keep returning to, and for good reason — I like to keep my mind fresh with some mental workouts. Math may not be my favorite thing in the world, but it does make for a great twist in a puzzle game, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Noda.
The visuals in Noda are minimal and elegant, something I always like to see in a puzzle. It carries a flat aesthetic for the most part, though the use of drop shadows in various graphics add a nice bit of depth to the overall appearance. The soft colors are easy on the eyes and don’t distract players from the core gameplay. Animations are smooth and fluid while you interact with the number circles, which I love. The game soundtrack is upbeat and quirky, which is a delight to listen to as you play. The bubbly sound effects are fun too.
In the initial download of Noda, players will get access to the first two level packs for free, but there are three additional packs that can be unlocked with an in-app purchase of $0.99 (this also grants access to all future levels). Even if you don’t opt for the upgrade, with 24 levels in each pack, there’s still a lot to go through for free. Another fun thing with Noda is the fact that even though it’s level-based, players can play these puzzles in any order they want, as they are all unlocked from the get-go.
In each level, you will have a grid of colored dots, with some of them having numbers attached (these are larger). The objective of the game is to match the target number in multiples in their proper color, which is shown in the top left corner of the screen. To do this, you swipe on each numbered dot to divide or add it. It sounds easy enough, right?
For dividing a number, just swipe it into an adjacent dot that is empty. If the number is even, it will be split up equally, but if it’s odd, it will become uneven. To combine numbers, just swipe them together, but keep in mind the color of the target number — order matters. However, the sum of two numbers cannot exceed nine, and the number one cannot be broken down any further. It may sound a bit confusing, but it’s pretty simple when you see the game in action.
While you can solve the puzzle in as many moves as you want without penalty, there are stars to earn if you can solve a stage in a limited amount of moves, which is shown in the top right corner. This makes the game a nice challenge for perfectionists.
Another thing I like about Noda is the fact that even though it’s a free game, there are no in-app purchases except for more levels. The only other feature that is in Noda is the ability for players to undo an unlimited amount of moves, but there are no hints or cheats.
To add to the high replay value of the game, there is full Game Center integration for both leaderboards and achievements. The leaderboards are for the number of levels you’ve mastered (cleared in the limited move set) and levels passed. There are five achievements to obtain as well.
I’m a big fan of puzzle games on my iOS devices, and Noda is another fine gem in my collection. I love the stylish graphics, the music and sounds are a joy to listen to, and the gameplay is unique and challenging — everything you’d want from a puzzle game. When I work my way through all of the free levels, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the rest.
I highly recommend checking out Noda if you enjoy a good, stimulating puzzle game, even if you aren’t a big math person. You can find Noda on the App Store as a universal download for free with an in-app purchase to get more level packs.