I usually download the ‘app of the week’ on the apple app store most weeks when I remember to. I’ve stumbled across some amazing gems in the past like Notability, Printer Pro/Scanner Pro and Memento (all other amazing apps even if they’re not free any more).
If you don’t know about this already, check out the featured section of the app store and scroll to about half way where you’ll see a featured app with a tiny blue bar across it saying ‘FREE APP OF THE WEEK‘.
This past week, it’s been a puzzle game app called Shadowmatic that has had me so captivated that I had to write a blog post about it. I’m not usually one to play games on my mobile devices due to the mass increase in usage of in-game micro-transactions that is frankly ruining the mobile gaming world in my opinion, especially for children. The sad thing is that it’s actually rubbed off on the console and PC gaming industry too… Sad times… Thankfully a lot of developers are dead against them still.
I’m happy to say there are no extra tricks going on in Shadowmatic (except for the option of buying hint coins). It’s free for the time being and what you see is what you get!
Shadowmatic has a very simple yet bold design to it with three options in the menu. Play. Options (music and language). Extras (credits).
Upon hitting play, you’re invited into a world of ever-connecting levels that are colour coded based on your progress. Orange means congrats you have completed it. Green means CONGRATS you have found the special level within the level!! ‘?’ means you need to get cracking on that level, son!
The essence of the game play is to find an object within the shadow(s) of freely rotatable objects. The problem is, you don’t know what you’re looking for to start out with. It’s like a puzzle with no picture.
There are at least themed sets of levels such as animals and children’s toys but that’s all you have to base your creations on! For instance, below is the step by step process I went through to eventually find a teddy bear from two 3D squiggles ever so carefully placed in such a way to create a familiar shadow.
The controls are really easy too with your finger free to rotate and move the objects as you please. To switch between objects you simply tap the bottom left circle to cycle through or hold it down and move the objects relative to each other to overlap as you see fit.
You’ll also notice a series of lights at the bottom of the screen gradually lighting up as you get closer to the object they’re pointing you towards, which at least gives you some direction during hard times. There are also hint coins (that you unfortunately buy) in the top left and a pause button. These simply give you hints on the name of the object you’re aiming to get, which sometimes isn’t even helpful at all.
There are also some quirky achievements to unlock along the way, which I always love in games as they keep it challenging even if you think you’ve finished everything!
The scenery and detail in this game is stunning considering the simplistic nature of the game, which really does finish it off to a high quality. There is also some AMAZINGLY soothing music to accompany the whole gaming experience, which you can actually buy on iTunes through the app if you become that obsessed.
All in all, this app has been a massive part of my winding down time this week following the raging stress ball that was the end of my dissertation. I would therefore recommend it to anyone who enjoys puzzle games or even just wants something soothingly distracting to wind down with after a long day with a glass of wine.
In one word, it’s mesmerising.