Developer: Vive Technologies Inc.
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
With the overwhelming collection of puzzle apps available a few truly smart and original ones must surely get lost in the shuffle. This is obviously the case with Swipehead by Wizkeit Games and Vive Technologies. At first glance, Swipehead comes off as roughly hewn and completely perplexing to the point of frustration, but spend some time with it and it becomes clear that a great deal of careful thought went into its conception. Swipehead pushes users headfirst into a puzzling maze with no explanation, making the first puzzle to figure out how to play. But take heart, once you get the hang of it, the puzzle unravels into swipe after swipe of pure brain challenging intrigue.
The objective of Swipehead is to get from the start of a maze made up of differernt screen shots to the end. The correct way is paved by images that have a common link or pattern. For instance, follow your nose – or rather all the noses – and you will find your way to the end. But be careful – if your next swipe reveals a tongue or an eye, you’re on the wrong track and you’ll be met by an unscrupulous fish who taunts you and takes away your points. If this all sounds rather cryptic, then wait until you evolve into one of the game’s smarter beings.
To navigate each Swipehead maze, you simply swipe up, down, left or right to advance to the next image. Beginning with the first image presented, you need to discern the connection between it and the remaining images to know which way to go, but if you put some thought into it you can make the association in just a few swipes. Sometimes a puzzle focuses more on memory than association, but it all becomes clear as you move along. You score points for each swipe in the right direction and extra points for finding the hidden cherry and beating the clock that ticks away in the upper right hand corner, but beware of the fish.
Aaaah, the fish...if you navigate more than one swipe in the wrong direction, the taunting fish appears laughing at you and blowing raspberries. No doubt you’ll want to fillet him without mercy, more so after each encounter, but if you think carefully you won’t ever have to see him.
Swipehead features 60 puzzle mazes that become increasingly more challenging as you evolve through the stages from amoebae to monkey to space alien. Comprised of mostly black and white iamges, some color photos are thrown in for your viewing pleasure, as well as a few random and iconic images. Be sure to tap the compass in the bottom right corner to have a visual of your progress. As your mental capacity increases and you want to really challenge your memory, turn the compass off and try to find your way to the end blindly. You always have the option of replaying solved mazes by tapping the bottom left corner icon.
With a collection of puzzles that smoothly transcends subjects from math to language to music, Swipehead is not only fun and original, but gives the grey matter a real workout. In a Rorschach meets Bill Nye sort of way, Swipehead is easily the most unique puzzle game I’ve seen in a very long time. My only wish at this point is for more puzzle mazes. If you’re unsure, download the free version first, but the full version is well worth each and every penny.