Elenints is a puzzle game set on a simple field of hexagons. The basic goal is to line up a set of like Elenints so they combine to make a larger Elenint. It’s a bit like nuclear fusion, but without all the nasty, flesh searing energy output.
What is it?
The basic premise of the Elenints is that they are nano-robots that will self assemble with other like Elenints. The game sets goals to create an Elenint of a certain size or to accumulate points in timed rounds.
There are only three “phases” (levels) and five goal-specific rounds in the free version. The $0.99 version unlocks two more phases abd an “Endless” phase along with ten more goal specific rounds. There is some pleasant background music and the obligatory obstacles that get thrown at you.
How does it work?
It’s a bit like Tetris in that the game will provide you with a Nint with either one, two, or three spheres in the center (hereafter referred to as “ranks”). Unlike Tetris, the next Nint only queues up when you place the current Nint. There is also no preview, so each Nint is a surprise.
The math is simple: set two Nints with one rank each adjacent to each other to create a Nint with two ranks. To create a three rank Nint, set three of the two rank Nints adjacent to each other. To create a four rank Nint, set four of the three rank Nints adjacent to each other (etc).
Here’s the catch—when the Nints combine, the resulting Nint will occupy the hex in which the last Nint was played. For example, if you line up three of the two rank Nints from left to right in a straight line, the resulting three rank Nint will be in the last (right) hex and the first two (left and middle) will empty out. As you create Nints of larger rank, the cleared hexagons deposit “protomatter” in your account with which you can purchase Nints to your specifications.
Let’s not forget the random obstacles. The game will place a random “creeper bomb” you can eliminate by placing a Nint on it but you have to place your piece before all six of the figures in the bomb are lit up. Once all of the segments are lit, the bomb will move around and, once it lands on one of your Nints, eliminate your piece and make that hex unplayable.
The game has another bit of fun: a clamp. It looks a bit like the symbol for the Galactic Empire from Star Wars, but it isn’t as malicious. If you are dealt a clamp, you have to play it. Once it is on the board, that hex is unplayable for the rest of the level. There is one hope (no, not Obi-Wan…); there is an object called a “Radiant.” It looks a bit like a star and will destroy anything you play it on: Nints, creeper bombs, locks, the lot.
Is it contagious?
Elenints offers a fun puzzle game diversion. Each level only takes a minute or two so you can play in short intervals and put it down without the worry of losing your place. The look is a bit Spartan, but clean and easy on the eyes.
Since the Nints come out randomly, each play is a new game so it’s easy to play through more than once. The game offers two levels of play: easy and hard. The primary differences in the hard version are the playing field is smaller and there are blocked hexagons starting at the first level. Even with the increased difficulty the game is still playable (who wants to play a game that’s so difficult you can never win?).
The free version only lets you play a small portion of the levels on the list, but the $0.99 price tag to open the rest of the game is pretty affordable. The only negative I encountered was that the menu buttons didn’t always register the finger tap (a bit touchy, but they did function).