If something that seems childishly simple can be addicting, MustbeGame’s new game app, SARANG, is it. The concept is simple enough: draw a path through the squares of a grid to connect the similarly colored dots together without having the paths cross each other. It starts out innocently enough, on Beginner and Stage 1 and only three dots to connect, but it lures you into a false sense of complacency that sours once you hit Master levels with seven dots on a grid with a lot more squares (there are 250 stages and 5 difficulty levels in all). There’s also a timer and a Taps limit; each square you fill to connect two dots is a Tap (you can tap to fill a single square, or slide your finger through mulitple ones). To clear the board, just tap the button on the bottom right to start over with no penalty.
SARANG may be addictive, but it could do with a few more odds and ends to make it more appealing to play. Its graphics and sound effects are cute (the sparkly background playing Pong is neat), but there are no choices besides turning them on and off–a little variety wouldn’t hurt. Give us more to choose from, such as background color or even what level to start on (the game just starts on Stage 1). There is also absolutely no background music at all (which is great if you like to concentrate in silence). And as far as we could see, the timer does absolutely nothing but frustrate you with how much time has passed since you made your last move; perhaps, to increase difficulty level, it could be incorporated as a penalty (for instance: the longer it takes to pass a stage, the less points you receive).
An impressive little addition, though, is the use of the iPhone’s accelerometer to move the numbers on the dots around to face you as you move the iPhone around. SARANG, at its most basic, is a game that you win by thinking and planning ahead, not by charging blindly forward. That it can be so smart while looking so innocent is an awesomely sly feat indeed, so do yourself a favor by trying this game app out (at least the free Lite version).
Here is a video demo of the SARANG app on the iPhone
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