Developer: Little Eyes LLC
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
What makes Eliss so addictive? Since I cannot put this game down, I have spent countless hours trying to figure this question out, and I plan to spend many more. My obsession with playing Eliss is for research purposes only. Honest. OK, I am lying. Eliss is awesome.
Eliss, created by Steph Thirion, is a fantastic game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Not only is it multi-touch, it is multi-sensory. You need to coordinate visual cues, reflexes, strategic thinking, your fingers — and your emotions when they get into a tizzy.
The ultimate goal of Eliss is to make pastel-colored planets bigger or smaller by joining or separating them with your fingertips. If you make the planets the right size, they will fit into “squeesars” which burst spectacularly. The planets float around and when they bump into planets of differing colors, your health reserves are drained. As the levels get harder, you have to finger-dance quickly to avoid swirling vortexes and burning suns. Eliss has simplistic retro graphics and ambient electronic music that gets more frantic as you climb the levels.
Eliss looks easy. That is why you keep playing. As you adjust to the game, you inevitably add more of your fingers onto the screen until you have four or five digits moving planets simultaneously. One bump too many with other planets and the game is over.
Eliss is not super-intuitive, and the instructions are minimal. It's the kind of game that you have to play to learn — and you have to practice, kind of like learning to play the piano. The struggle here is that Eliss is actually really hard. I've yet to pass level 3. My gaming friend is still taking a beating on level 5. With 20 levels, we could play for a long time. Folks with a low frustration tolerance should probably pass on this game because in Eliss, success and skill come slowly.
Eliss is one of the best iPhone games that I have played. Artsy types will love the artistic aesthetic of Eliss, and gamers will love the challenge.