Numbrosia – Number, logic, word, and match-three style puzzles find their way onto my iPod touch quite frequently. Some I love, others not so much, and sometimes it just depends.
For review purposes, I think it’s important to gauge a puzzle game’s quality alongside its value for price. I don’t necessarily expect anything stellar for free and I don’t expect a crappy puzzle game if I shell out a few bucks either. In this case, Numbrosia surprised me with its value for price characteristics.
While at first the name made me think of that fluffy pink parfait-like fruit salad with pineapple and marshmallows in it, I suspected Numbrosia might have something to do with numbers.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover Numbrosia is a number puzzle. The general idea is to take a grid of random numbers and by either relocating the numbers or adding and subtracting from the numbers, make every number in the grid 0. The challenge is to do this in as few moves as possible.
At first Numbrosia may seem confusing, but if you think back to high school algebra (and yes, some of us have to think a bit farther back than others do) and remember the concept of graphing, it’s really quite simple. For example, you can readjust the value of all numbers in a row by tapping a square within the row and then tapping a second square either to the left or right of the first. If you tap to the right, the value of each number is increased by one and to the left, decreased by one. Just think of the columns as Y and the rows as X. You can also swipe the entire column or row to relocate the numbers on the grid. Each swipe and decrease or increase of value counts as one move.
Once you get the hang of Numbrosia, it becomes a semi-addicting challenge to try to beat the world record number of moves. I have no idea if it really is a world record or if the goal of all this could be achieved in fewer moves. To calculate your score, Numbrosia compares the number of moves it took you to solve each puzzle with the world record number of moves. My highest averages were around 74% while my lowest were around 50%. Numbrosia also includes a welcome “undo” feature which will undo any unintentional or unhelpful moves and you can also restart the puzzle at any time.
Though there is nothing flashy or mind-bending about Numbrosia, it remains a fairly solid number puzzle challenge. You can listen to your own music while you play and you can replay puzzles you’ve already completed to try to beat your best score. Since Numbrosia is currently available in the App Store for free, it gets a fairly good rating for sheer value to price comparison.