Price: $1.99 Score: 7/10 Category: Puzzle Games

Commove by Photics is the kind of puzzle game that tells a story that puts you into an alternate universe.

You’re the chief engineer in the hub of a city’s transportation system in the middle of a potentially devastating blackout. It’s you’re job to restore power to the train station as efficiently as possible by lining up orbs of the same color. Each movement must be carefully thought out though, because every time you move the conveyor belt to align the lights, you’re using power.

That’s the overall premise of Commove and it’s clever, but actually playing is a lot more about moving the lights than powering the train station. The centerpiece of the game is the 5 x 7 light grid with arrows along the perimeter. Tapping the arrows shifts the light placement, and effective strategy means looking in the queue that shows what the next color will be, as well as getting in the right position to effectively execute combos.

As the game advances, bombs and glowing white orbs are added for a more challenging experience, and the entire time it’s about keeping the electricity gauge on the lower left hand corner in the green (or white) and out of the red. If you lose power the game is over, but until then the game play is relaxed, at your own pace, and more about the process than racing to keep the lights on.

The excellent soundtrack that accompanies the game play and changes with the levels is supportive of this “it’s about the process” approach, and the overall game experience is extremely fluid and enjoyable.

Commove excels in delivering subtleties exceptionally well. It supports three languages, has settings that allow you to change the shape of the orbs if you’re colorblind or unable to distinguish between red, green, yellow, blue and white, and features a group of clever additions that send your score skyrocketing. The lights even brighten and fade, which is one of the many touches that are worth appreciating.

It would be cool to see more changes within the actual subway station and around the subway platform so that combos and level advances feel more like an accomplishment that unlocks treasures, but the simplicity of this game is appealing too and this lack of interactive excitement based on the story isn’t by any means a game killer.

What Commove really lacks is the ability to stop and then pick up where you left off, forcing you to repeat the easier beginning levels every time you pick it up again. The problem can be solved by sleeping your iPad and leaving the app open, but that fix is hardly reliable and a little frustrating for the multitasking type. Adding a save feature would improve this game a lot, as everything else is executed well and overall this is a very fun game.

Bottom Line: Commove is a fun puzzle game with a great story, relaxing game play, and nice go at your own pace attitude. A solid strategic puzzle game that will send the minute hand in full circle before you even remember time exists. 7/10

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