When I was a kid, jigsaw puzzles were a big family bonding activity, but these days, I tend to prefer puzzles with a little more abstract thinking, or ones I can use to drive my colorblind boyfriend batty. That’s where games like Chromixa come in. An artistically quirky twist on jigsaw puzzles, in Chromixa you use bars of different colored lights to recreate a shape.
The first thing you need to know in order to solve puzzles in Chromixa is that primary colors of light are red, blue, and green. Yes, green, not yellow. Forget what your kindergarten teacher told you; we’re working with light, not finger paints. You can combine these in different combinations to get the secondary colors of yellow, magenta, and cyan. Mix all of them together and you get white.
With every puzzle, you start with the colored outline of a shape and a series of colored light bars. You want to use these bars to fill in the shape with the same color as the outline. This usually means overlaying the bars on top of each other in creative ways. To do this, you can drag bars into place and use two fingers to rotate them. You can also tap to cycle through bars if you’ve got one on top of another. It’s a little awkward at first, but eventually you can get the bars lined up just so and then it’s off to the next puzzle. It sounds more difficult than it is, but the basic mechanics of the puzzle are simple, although it does eventually get difficult.
There’s no time limit, although the game does keep track of time for the leaderboards, and Chromixa is OpenFeint enabled. There are a number of achievements to unlock, including a few basic mini games. The extras are nice, but one of Chromixa’s big drawbacks is that there are no hints available, so you can definitely get stuck for awhile without any progress.
As far as the look of the game, it’s quite attractive in a simple sort of way. The shapes are very clean and spare, but the rainbow of colors against a black background make the game look decidedly psychedelic. The music is particularly good for such a basic game, although you also have the option of playing your own music.
The interface wasn’t quite perfect, but the innovative and elegant puzzles were simultaneously attractive and engaging. If you like clean design and unique puzzles, Chromixa is definitely worth checking out.
Here is a video demo of the Chromixa app on the iPhone
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