Dispair Homescreen

Why Dispair?

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.

Background

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.

Gameplay

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:

Dispair Opening Screen

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.

Dispair Homescreen

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:

Dispair "Help" Screen

Summary

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:

Dispair Promotional Offer

Inconceivably, this suggests that at some point parts or even all of this game will have a cost.

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