Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
If you just look at the picture, Omini Stones might be mistaken for another drop in the popular match-three bucket. But that, dear AppCravers, is why you should never judge an app by it's cover.
Omini Stones is a different kind of puzzle altogether. The developers call it a "classic swap-and-match puzzle." They may be right, but I've never played anything like it. Thankfully, the app includes a good video tutorial which explains how to play pretty quickly.
Once I understood the details, the puzzle seemed like simple gameplay. Slide plain stones of contrasting colors but matching shapes to create Omini Stones. The Omini Stones can then be cleared from the board by being nudged over to another matching Omini. Clear enough from the board and move onto the next level.
Simple! At least for the first 5 levels or so. As the game progresses the stones, which start as triangles, begin to vary in shape — triangles, rectangles, circles. Remember, stones can only combine with another stone of the same shape. Pretty soon, it takes real strategy to slide the stones into right place. And another thing, some of the Omini are ticking bombs that must be cleared from the board before exploding.
Gamers that know how to plan ahead will be able to score extra points by destroying Omini clusters. Gathering 3 or 4 Omini Stones of the same color close enough to clear at the same time is a move that shows true mastery of the game. I managed it by accident, but it can also be done with intent.
Try tilting and turning your iDevice for maximum strategy points. As you slide the stones, the rest will fall into place according to gravity. It's a nice feature and one of the reasons that Omini Stones is worth the slightly higher price tag.
My concentrating cranium was definitely got its weekly workout with this app! Unless you're a hardcore puzzle-head, Omini Stones isn't the type of game you'll play in line at the bank. It requires more intense thought and deliberate strategy than a lot of the other casual gaming apps I've come across. It also provides more of a challenge.
Omini Stones is fresh and familiar at the same time. So, if you're looking for a challenging game, that will comfort you with a sense of familiarity even while you bang your brain trying to break through to the next level, then Omini Stones from MiOmega might be just what you need.
Watch the Omini Stones video demo: