If you are color blind, I’m afraid you might want to pass this one buy. If not, come on in!
Created by Finnish developer Timi Koponen, using the ever-popular Unity engine, RYO is a color-based puzzle game available for iOS and Android that uses simple one-finger swipe mechanics to match red dots with red dots, yellow dots with other yellow dots… and so on. This simple premise is evolved upon by adding different shades of colors; therefore, asking the player to cross colors in order to change them to the correct shade needed. Against a plain black background, it has a simple visual style that is effective and quite calming. There is no music other than simple sound effects, so a nice piece of ambient/shoegaze/post-rock seems to do the trick (full on thrash metal also seems to work – don’t ask why).
As far as puzzle games go, RYO never straddles too far away from its comfort zone. The slightly more complex layout of colors that exist later in the game are entirely achievable to solve through trial-and-error, and the comforting lull the game presents soon becomes a mad-dash swipe of fingers, as thought and a need for logical problem solving are thrown out the window. It’s a shame, as for about the first fifty of the game’s eighty levels there’s a nice groove of adding layers of difficulty that suit the limitations of the game’s mechanics. But without any sense of risk/reward, and with only a few times where it feels necessary to think about which colors to swipe across, the last third of the game does start to drag.
Also – and it is a minor thing in all honesty – if you swipe across but halfway decide that you’ve made an incorrect move, you can swipe back to the starting point, but the screen will still shake, thinking that you’ve swiped across to an incorrect color. It’s more of an irritation than anything else, but no one likes to be told they’re done something wrong when it isn’t valid!
The game is very short: around ninety minutes is more than enough time to see it through to the end. But for the asking price of $0.99/£0.69, it’s the smallest of gripes to have about an otherwise enjoyable slice of touch gaming. There is certainly room for improvement; obstacles, extra colors, variables – there is a multitude of things that could be done, but for a first attempt, RYO is a great concept that is worth checking out.
This game was reviewed on an iOS device using a copy provided by the developer for that purpose.
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