Twisted Lines – Mind-twisting Puzzles ($2.99) by Megagon Industries is a new minimalistic puzzle game that’s about colors and crossing lines. If you enjoyed recent games like Spectrum 6 and even And Then It Rained (the developer’s previous game), then you will like Twisted Lines.
Life has been pretty busy for me lately, so whenever I have a spare moment to just sit down and relax, I find the most joy in just zoning out with a puzzle game. Because even though I’m chilling out, I like to keep my mind sharp, so what better way to give it a workout than with a puzzle game? They’re always stimulating and fun, so it’s like having the best of both worlds. And while I have probably checked out most of the puzzle games that are on the App Store, I can’t help but get excited when I see a new one pop up every week. So when the news of Twisted Lines hit my inbox, I was excited to check it out, especially since I enjoyed And Then It Rained rather thoroughly.
In terms of aesthetics, Twisted Lines falls into the minimalistic and flat category that has become so popular ever since iOS 7 came out. I’m personally a fan of these types of designs, but I know that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Twisted Lines features simplistic geometric shapes that compose the board, show you the start and ending points, and serve as the connection between everything. The game also makes use of bright and vivid colors that complement each other rather nicely. Animations are smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 6s Plus, though I’ll admit that the controls make movement a bit rough, but I’ll get to that in a bit. Twisted Lines also comes with an ambient, jazzy soundtrack that is delightful to listen to with a good pair of headphones. But the coolest thing about the music and sound is the fact that it is dynamic, as it reacts and adapts to your puzzle solution. I love games that do this, because it’s always cool to hear feedback regarding your puzzle solving in-game. Overall, Megagon has done another great job regarding the visual aesthetics and sound.
Twisted Lines has nine different chapters that contain 12 levels each. In traditional puzzle game style, you’ll have to progress through in a linear fashion, and you’ll earn keys by completing chapters. The key is necessary to unlock the next chapter, so it’s important to strive for that if you want to complete the game. Another thing to note is that if you get stuck, Twisted Lines can give you a hint on how to solve the stage. You start off with 10 hints, which is rather generous. You can get 10 more hints for a Facebook like, and another 10 for a Twitter share. And if that isn’t enough, you can buy more hints through in-app purchases: 10 for $0.99, 50 for $1.99, or unlimited for $2.99. Since Twisted Lines is already a paid game, I’m not too fond of this system, especially seeing as how a game like makenines is free with zero ads or hints and just uses a pay-what-you-want model.
The goal in Twisted Lines is have your solid square collect all of the hollow squares that are on the board. However, the key mechanic is the fact that in order to collect the hollowed squares, your solid square has to be the same color. To swap the square color, you have to cross the lines that you leave behind — the first color you cross is the hue you become. You can’t cut corners either, so you have to think about the path before your square ventures out. New game mechanics get introduced on the board as you make progress through the game. The end result is that you’ll start to see gorgeous line patterns, which you can easily snap a shot of to share with others.
All movement in Twisted Lines is done by dragging your finger from the solid square to where you want it to go. However, I’m not sure why, but the controls don’t seem as responsive as they should be. I often found my square off by a space or two, and it feels like the square doesn’t cooperate well enough with your finger’s touch, since the square elongates itself as your finger is on the screen, causing more issues for me. Another thing is that it doesn’t help visibility when your finger is covering part of the screen, and you can’t see where you should move in order to circumvent the issue mentioned earlier. You can use the “back” button that the game has in the corner to back up your square one space at a time, but it doesn’t help much when it comes to moving forward. I hope that the developers can work on better optimization for the control scheme, because at the moment it feels a bit clunky and unintuitive, tainting the overall experience.
I’ve only started playing Twisted Lines this morning, and as a puzzle fan, I love what the game brings. The visuals are aesthetically pleasing with the minimalist design, the dynamic music and sounds are delightful and a great way for players to get feedback on how they’re playing the game, and the puzzles are challenging and put your mind to work. I just wish that the controls were a bit more responsive, as I often end up fidgeting with the path to make sure the square goes where I want it to go. Hopefully this is improved in a future update. I am also not too fond of the fact that the game is paid but still has in-app purchases for hints.
I still recommend giving Twisted Lines a try if you enjoy puzzle games, but I did warn you about the controls. Perhaps time and practice will make it more tolerable.
Twisted Lines is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $2.99. There are in-app purchases.