Developer: NISSHO CREATIVE Corp.
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Fire Art Garden is a puzzle offering that puts you in a race against time to launch fireworks. To do so, you must rearrange a rope maze to let a spark makes its way to the launchers. While Fire Art Garden is novel in concept, some unresponsiveness from the touch screen keeps it from being a truly great app.
The title screen give you the standard three offerings of levels — easy, medium and hard. When Fire Art Garden begins you will see one or more sparks burning their way through a puzzle-like rope course. The screen is divided into tiles that you must move with your finger to connect the untethered portions of the ropes. Connecting the ropes will send the spark on its happy little way until it reaches the fireworks launcher. The points for completing the round are tallied and it is on to more challenging puzzles.
As Fire Art Garden progresses, there are more sparks to keep track of — sometimes two or more will launch at the start of the round. To pass you only need to get one into each launcher. When a spark burns out, two toga-clad individuals appear and hammer away at where the spark went out; probably to repair the rope. Should all the sparks burn out, the round is lost.
Fire Art Garden definitely makes the player think and plan ahead about how to maneuver the tiles, especially as the rounds become more challenging. The music, as with many apps, was quite annoying. However, the developers made it easy to turn off.
The biggest flaw was how inconsistent some of the tile-moving worked on my iPhone's touch screen. It was not uncommon for it to take two or three swipes to get some of the tiles to move. It seems like you have to tap and swipe at just the right location in the center of the tile.
It's a shame for a good game to fizzle because of usability. The sensitivity issues aren't a deal-breaker for me, but they could change the outcome of Fire Art Garden for some players.