Curvy presents you with colorful hexagon shaped tiles covered in squiggly lines that you need to rotate to tie up all your loose ends. It looks like some kind of flying spaghetti monster when you first look at it, but there is some structure behind the randomness that becomes relevant as you play. The app only requests two permissions, neither of which should cause you concern, and is only a measly 92.29KB, making it a very quick download, especially for a game. There is a free version with full functionality and a $1.50 paid version which removes ads and allows you to track your best times.
Let’s have a look at how fun it is to play!
What Is Curvy?
Here’s an example of a simple puzzle:
A 3x3 Curvy puzzle with one color.
Everything needs to connect to everything else somehow, someway. No cut-off ends allowed!
Here’s how a similar puzzle looks when completed:
A completely solved 3x3 Curvy puzzle.
When starting a new game, you can choose a puzzle dimension – from 3×3 to 7×8 – and you can choose the color scheme – one color, two colors, or two colors (dense). I started off with a 3×3 two color (dense) puzzle. The game is not easy, especially with more than one color. The first puzzle I did took me 6 minutes and 11 seconds. It takes a couple minutes to wrap your head around the concept of the two colors being on one tile, but after you get that part it becomes easier to start fitting the pieces together.
A 3x3 Curvy puzzle with two colors.
Notice the one piece in the center that needed to be in the proper spot as it had 5 lines – one on each side, while other tiles only had 1-3 lines going out.
Next I did a 3×3 puzzle with only one color, as shown earlier in the review – this was much faster and I came in with a time of 48.88 seconds! I think a lot of the reviewers in the Android Market who claimed the game is easy only tried it in this mode; the puzzles are simple enough for most people to solve very quickly.
These 3×3 puzzles were too simple for my taste but may be fun for younger game players. (My brilliant strategy of flipping random tiles to see how they fit together doesn’t seem like the most scientific, but it was working for the 3×3 puzzles…) Still, even those puzzles make for a good, quick game fix in a waiting room or during commercials while watching TV. (Though even with the bigger puzzles, there is a Continue feature so you can come back to a game in progress if your game needs to stop abruptly.)
A solved 3x3 Curvy puzzle with two colors.
There seems to be a general pattern that the connections follow; so just try to follow your gut and if it looks like it fits you are probably close to the solution for that part of the board.
Big Puzzles and Different Strategies
Next I tried a 7×8 puzzle with one color to see the other end of the difficulty spectrum, and this had a lot more tiles so it seemed like I needed a new strategy.
A 7x8 Curvy puzzle with one color.
Just find the ending for each set of tiles, I thought, or start with the tiles with more than 4 connections… Not much seemed to be working for a while. A few times I thought I had my loose ends tied up but there was something still there I had to take care of. This puzzle is really hard; I was stuck, and might have given up on the 7×8 to try something easier but finally I got it – it took me 1 hour and 7 minutes according to the app’s timer (with a few breaks). So even on the highest difficulty it is not impossible, but it will take some time to get a sense for the patterns of the puzzle and to break it down into various sections in your mind so as to make all the different parts mesh together in the end.
Work in sections so as to split things up a bit and at least get part of the board in line with where (you think) it should be.
Yes, a 7x8 Curvy puzzle with two colors is twice as crazy as with one color.
Try from the beginning not to let any of your tiles have their lines going off the board, they should always be facing inwards to connect with other tiles. One strategy I tried is to start the puzzle like this and gradually move inwards to the center.
There are some preferences you can set before you start playing. I set “Rotation scales with distance” and changed the tile color to a light blue. You can see the changes you made to the tile colors on the home screen after you leave the preferences screen, so if it just doesn’t mesh, you can go back into the preferences and change it before starting a puzzle. The most basic game is dimensions of 3×3 and one color on each tile.
Overall, the game can be addictive, and you definitely can’t walk away while the puzzle is unsolved. It is fun, and challenging enough that it isn’t boring. One technical downside is that it seemed like the Continue button didn’t work sometimes, but i’m not sure if it was an issue with my phone or the app.
There is a limited amount of patterns so at some point I would guess it would be pretty easy to solve almost any of the puzzles rather quickly. There is a learning curve (no pun intended) with the types of tiles that you see and the general patterns that repeat. But once you understand the patterns, the learning curve isn’t very steep after that point. This is a puzzle game in its purest form, so if you like puzzles it will keep you entertained for quite some time.