Today begins what will be a mainstay of Words on the Word in 2015: AppTastic Tuesdays. First up: the iOS app Rules!
Rules! is part zone-out tapping, part memory-training app. The gameplay itself is fast-paced, fun, easy, and aesthetically pleasing. Watch this short trailer to get caught up:
The actual tapping of icons is easy–the game is quite touch-responsive and fast. And the rules are clear enough:
When you complete what rule 1 calls for, you move up to rule 2. Having completed rule 2 on the screen, you then apply rule 1 to the remaining icons. There are 100 levels of rules, though I have barely made it past 15.
When the game introduces a new rule, you get a screen like this:
But then after completing rule 13, it tells you simply, “Now follow rule 12,” “Now follow rule 11,” “Now follow rule 9,” and so on.
So it’s more than about the gameplay itself–you’ve got to memorize the rules as you go; you’ve got to know them by number.
This makes it a less-than-ideal zone-out game. Threes is by no means boring but mindless enough that you can come home to it at the end of a long day. Rules! is not so. It demands more of your mind.
You will probably find yourself, as I did, using some mnemonic device to remember 8-10 rules at once, so you can perform the appropriate actions on the screen in front of you.
There are three game modes: Beginner, Expert, Timeless (i.e., no countdown clock). The scoring rewards you for speed and accuracy:
The need to memorize a host of rules in order to do well caused me to lose interest more quickly with Rules! than I have with other iOS games.
But Rules! especially excels in two areas: (1) its accompanying music is pretty, well-written, and good for focusing, and (2) its layout and design is gorgeous. Even the fail screen looks good:
So, for $1.99 in the App Store, if you’re up for a mental challenge with good music and beautiful design, check it out and see if you can–as one player on Twitter recently did–get through all 100 levels.