We hope you like challenge, because you’re in for quite a challenge with the new Zengrams. It’s built upon the classic tangrams style puzzle, but with some subtle twists for an all new experience. Rather than giving you predefined shapes to combine together to create the desired image, you get to form your own shapes. The game relies on color, so that each color constitutes a unique shape, and overlaying shapes combines colors to create an all new shape. All the pieces are semi-transparent to make overlaying them easy, and you will need to combine the shapes just right to create the new colored shapes, or merge existing same colored shapes.
There are 70 levels included with each one providing a unique challenge that will no doubt stump you at times. It’s amazing how challenging the levels become with just two, or three pieces on screen. Part of the difficulty is that you have a limited number of moves, and you have to merge, and split in the not obvious order. You have to like brain teasers to enjoy Zengrams, and have to accept that you will be overwhelmed at times. It’s the type of game that you need patience for, and you may need to leave, and come back to it with a fresh perspective later.
Not only are the puzzles well designed, but so is the touch based interface with the drag, and drop piece movement. Additionally, there are diamonds at the bottom of the screen indicating each move, and you can tap on any diamond to undo your moves back to that stage. You can go back one move, or the full puzzle with just a single tap, and it’s quite helpful as you keep trying to put these puzzles together. The main problem with Zengrams is that there’s no optional hint system, so if you get stuck on a level, there’s no way forward until you figure it out. You also only unlock one level at a time, so you can’t even skip a particularly challenging level to come back to later. The challenge does introduce a great intrinsic reward system to provide a feeling of accomplishment with each completed levels. That’s especially true when you see the relatively simple solution come together on a particular tough puzzle.
Zengrams ($2.99, Universal) is a highly engaging brain teasing challenge that will keep you compelled to progress, but struggling to do so making it worth picking up, if you’re up for it.