Developer: Nathan Dicken
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Blendamaze isn't your typical tilt-based iOS puzzle game. Instead, it's an artsy labyrinth-style game that combines a player's sense of balance and dexterity with a keen eye for color mixing and matching. To add to the challenge, the game also requires a bit of strategy.
Before each level, the player is presented the color challenge a unique color or two which must be matched in order to pass the level. Gameplay begins like any other tilt-based maze, the player has a white marble which must be rolled to the finish line. Here's is where it gets interesting.
How to Play Blendamaze
While classic iterations of this idea require the player to the roll the ball to a single target, Blendamaze requires navigating to at least two. In addition, the player must paint the ball a specific color by rolling it through a well of paint along the way. Though there is some room for error, only correctly-colored balls will be accepted for reaching the target and moving on to the next level. As challenges get tougher, the player will need to use skill and strategy to blend primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
As the game progresses, more skill is required to achieve the correct color. It's not just a matter of knowing that yellow and blue make green. The board is scattered with paint wells that become obstacles, unintentionally altering the color of the ball and requiring players to work extra hard to create the correct color. While simply mixing primary colors will be enough early on, the color challenges get harder when different shades of each hue – such as lime green or fuchsia – are introduced into the equation.
Strive for Stars with Color Accuracy
Overall, the physics and handling of the game are sound. While the tilt is more sensitive than one might expect, it's easy to get used to using a delicate touch when needed to propel the ball through the various paints. One of the biggest challenges comes in the form of trying to avoid dipping into a color that isn't even supposed to be part of the mixture. It's a mistake that is easy to make and difficult to correct, but it's part of the challenge and, ultimately, part of what makes Blendamaze addicting. The only unfixable color I've come across is black. It seems that once it's black, there's no going back and restarting the level is the best option.
One thing to note is that the Hint feature doesn't actually provide a hint to achieving perfect color accuracy. Instead, it provides a guide as to where your ball will "pop up" once it's been swallowed by the paint well. Although this is nice, as the ball may come up in unexpected places, it might be more helpful if it provided a hint showing how to turn yellow into purple once a moving ball has fallen into the wrong paint color.
Blendamaze uses a star system to score each level that takes into account color blending accuracy. The goal isn't just to finish the maze, but to reach the target with the perfect color in order to achieve the most stars.
Final Thoughts on Blendamaze
The game features more than 100 levels divided among primary, secondary and tertiary color challenges. For additional re-play value try the levels with the Invisible Ball which can go through walls or switch up the art factor with the Chameleon Ball. There is something for every skill level. There's even a “just paint” level, which removes the challenge and allows relaxing freeplay or practice time.
Blendamaze is a colorful and quirky take on a classic labyrinth maze game. It has a enough unique features to keep it fresh and it's challenging enough to keep players coming back for more. Puzzle gamers with an iPad or iPhone should take Blendamaze for a test run. The current version is free until version 2.0 is ready, according to the developer.