Dispair and other puzzle games like it (that’s the correct spelling. It has to do with the “distance” between correct block positions) walk the razor’s edge between brilliant time-eater and horrible waste of time. On the one hand, a good brainteasing puzzle game can offer the perfect chance to escape the doldrums of the day while simultaneously stimulating the mind. On the other hand, a bad game can bog its player down and make them feel dull, a ghost subconsciously jumping through hoops for a prize that doesn’t measure up. Dispair falls into that latter category.
Developed and distributed by Siegfried Schulz-Giese on the App Store for free, Dispair is a “challenging brainteaser, in which it depends on finding out a given order of letters (colours) within a minimum of attempts (within as few as possible).” That quote is directly from the sellers description of the game, and if you think it’s confusing, then you my friend have a very rude awakening in store.
It should be apparent by now that the app was originally intended for the German market. I don’t know at what point the developer decided to try and translate the app into English, but let this be a warning to you; always spend the extra money to hire a reputable translation service. Open the app for the first time* and you are greeted with this:
No instructions on how to play, no clues as to what objective you have to complete to advance to the next level, or if there even is a next level. I played around a bit and eventually “won” a game or match, or round. Whatever. This took me to the homepage, where things went from muddled to damn near encrypted.
From what I can tell, the player is expected to match a sequence of letters (each letter has a corresponding color, though I’m not sure that has any significance) with those randomly generated by the app. I thought to myself, “Maybe the “help” section will be useful.” Here’s what I got instead:
This game has a myriad of problems, chief among them, its utter confusion. I really wanted this game to be fun, but in the end I only found Dispair.
*If you downloaded the game before 30 November you probably saw this instead:
Inconceivably, this suggests that at some point parts or even all of this game will have a cost.