Zenscape: Colorful Lightplay is Quietly Calm

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zenscape-iphone-appZenscape - More than a year ago, Koi Pond floated onto the app scene with a gorgeous (if pointless) app that allowed users to affect an onscreen world with a touch, tap or swipe. It was an instant success and app developers have been using the model ever since hoping to achieve the same fame.

Zenscape is a new wrapper for an old trick. That said, it's a trick many users enjoy and new iPhone owners may not have experienced yet.

Zenscape is an "interactive visual experience" to "calm and relax your mind" says the App Store description. The app has a pretty simple set-up. Open the app and the home page greets you with a little piece piece of daily zen — a quote from an eclectic mix of personalities Buddha, Martin Luther King Jr, William Penn, Lily Tomlin and more. If you need more encouragement to find your inner peace, you can scroll through to get more quotes in random order.

The music for Zenscape is a new-agey, space-inspired soundtrack that feels like the intro to a Sci-Fi flick. I kind of like it, but if you don't it can be toggled off by tapping the musical note. The music is obviously created to encourage relaxation, but I was disappointed by the loud clack that accompanies tapping the options buttons. I'm all for auditory feedback, but in this case it's unnecessarily disruptive to "the mood."

After you've been sufficiently inspired by quotes and music, it's time to get to the heart of this app. Zenscape has 6 similarly designed themes: underwater, snowy day, outer space, romantic, psychedelic, and flames. My two faves are snowy day and outer space. The rest are basically the same experience with different colors schemes.

Choose a theme and enter an interactive screen with gently undulating background colors. Tap and swipe to watch trails of light swirl in the wake of your fingers. Zenscape describes it as "waves and flames." Personally, I found the trails to be more subtle. Pretty? Yes. Entrancing? Well, that depends on you.

I think I'm wound a little too tightly to find zen in an iPhone app, even through the warm glow of Zenscape's interactive color parade. However, if you like these types of touch and play "visual experiences" then give this app a try.

One last thing: Fractal Softworks is also the developer of one of my current favorite apps, Crystal Clear. If you prefer an app with more zeal than zen, give it a try instead.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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