Why Imago – Transformative Puzzle Game?
Because it has the potential to become one of the next big games on the app store. A beautifully crafted puzzler in which you slide blocks to match them by color, “Imago” has a great sense of adventure about it — no matter how many times you play each level, there will always be a different solution for you to find, which consistently had me coming back for more.
Each colored block has its own number, which denotes a score. Match two orange 57s? You just scored 114! This adds an extra layer of strategy not often found in games like this — because as well as matching colors, you’re matching numbers, and higher numbers means a bigger score.
Each level gives you a limited number of times you can slide the blocks — sliding one block equals one move. With this in mind, every single move you make requires tonnes of careful thought and planning. Do you move a smaller block next to another smaller block to combine the two, or do you not combine at all, and just move a block across the grid to free up space for possible scoring opportunities down the line? It almost feels like chess at times.
The standard size single blocks can push other equally sized blocks around the grid, but can’t budge bigger blocks — it’s up to them to move themselves. There are numerous different mechanics at play here, and when they all come together, it’s truly satisfying — merging two blocks together to create a perfect square, setting off a chain reaction that combines blocks across the grid, is an amazing feeling.
It’s just quite a shame that its so damn hard. It took me more than 20 tries to beat the very first level — after an admittedly great tutorial, I was thrust into the arena to fend for myself against what felt like insurmountable odds. I was a few more tries away from looking up a guide out of frustration.
Unlocking levels is based on score. Scoring 10,000 points in level one will unlock level two, and so on. Sadly, it appears developer Arkadium poorly misjudged it’s scoring system, especially for the introductory levels — I frequently fell more than 2,000 points short. There isn’t even another way to unlock each successive level — no in game currency, no side missions or hint system of any kind.
The only way to make each level easier is to purchase extra moves. While paying to win is quite common these days, it still feels like a cop out every single time. I’d much rather have paid 69p for a full game — Arkadium certainly deserve it.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically it feels very vintage, like something you’d see on the walls in a Victorian mansion. The brightly colored blocks are nicely offset against the slightly darker backgrounds, meaning there was never any confusion as to what I could and couldn’t interact with. I did find the cartoony sound effects wildly at odds with the games sophisticated graphical presentation, but either way, it’s not hugely distracting.
“Imago – Transformative Puzzle Game” may not have the catchiest title, but its unique gameplay, pleasing graphics and pure addictive ability will surely hook you in.