Pixelated is one of those maddeningly clever strategy games that need no introduction. Last seen at CrackBerry Live, the developer has taken his popular game to a whole new level of difficulty. If you thought you couldn't put down the original then just imagine the hours of fun you'll have now that it introduces shapes to its arsenal. This games has always been in my top ten going back to my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and my PlayBook and of course I immediately jumped at this one.
I admit productivity takes a backseat once gameplay begins. Forget about work, errands, or, in my case, the blinking light of my BlackBerry. You read that correctly, I was so engrossed in the game I missed a notification. I also tweeted Ebscer, and rightly so, that my weekend would be gone.
The object of the game remains the same as that of the original. Players must change the color of all of the shapes on the screen until only one solid color remains. There are two settings that are important to look out for as it relates to being able to clear the board. You can either set the game end condition to no moves left, which means you are limited to a certain number of moves to complete the level, or select level cleared. The latter allows you to perform as many moves as necessary to finish, while the former takes a bit of skill and a lot of quick thinking to carefully plan out each play.
Colors are changed by using the multicolored buttons at the bottom of the screen which represent the one you want to switch to. Game starts with the shape in the uppermost left of the screen and the surrounding ones only change if they are adjacent. For instance, if the starting triangle is green and I tap on yellow, a yellow piece must be directly touching it in order to switch over. The real difficulty is challenging yourself to accomplish this in as few moves as possible. It's daunting to say the least.
Now I love puzzles just like everyone else, but no matter how many times I try, I still can't complete the standard board without turning off the move limitation. Pixelated Shapes is available in two versions: a free limited one (i.e. Unable to set color scheme or grid type, and cannot view scoreboard) and a plus version for $2.99 that can be unlocked via an in-app purchase. What I do prefer in the premium version is that it displays just how many moves remain. Rather than guessing or waiting for the game over popup, this feature is most helpful while playing.