A smartphone screen is a blank canvas for game developers to tinker about with. The result? Intuitive and unique gameplay and controls as well as big company cash grabs. As for puzzle games the sky is virtually the limit, or at least as limited as the devs imagination. Somehow I got my hands on har-mon-y, a stylish and serene tile based puzzler which caters to peoples need to organize. Sounds fantastic, right? Right?!
Harmony's gameplay consists of a board of tiles of numerous colors and dimensions. The objective is to align colors together by moving tiles vertical and horizontally. The catch? Each tile has a dot that determines how many times each can be moved. Sounds zen dunnit?
The color schemes are lovely, the interface is soft and inviting while the meditational music helps players to concentrate. With all that said, I SHOULD love this game. But I don't because the actual puzzles are lame. The further I delved, puzzle after puzzle after puzzle just persisted to be uninteresting, jarring and ridiculously easy. There's no sense of satisfaction or an electromagnetic crack addiction because it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything significant.
These puzzles are left incomplete. My OCD is blazing red hot right now.
I can understand the serenity aspect, that these are meant to be solved without much trouble to clear your mind. Maybe I'm the wrong audience for this game but the impression it gives is that it lives by a specific set of rules that are contradict the whole 'Harmoniousnessness' it lives by. For instance, I can solve a puzzle and have all the colors right where they should be, puzzle solved right? Wrong, sometimes I'll be left with unmoved tiles next to each other that need to be swapped despite being in the right place. Sometimes they can be moved which solves the puzzle and I begrudgingly move on, and sometimes they can't be moved which means I have to start the puzzle from scratch. This isn't a hassle since restarting puzzles usually leads to solving it anyway. You learn to live by Harmonius' ridiculous rules until you get bored and give up.
It's really a shame because I like easy going puzzle games like these. I can't help but compare it to Unblock Me, Flow or The Room series which don't pressure players with a time limit (Puzzlejuice has my heart for that category.) As I said, maybe I'm not the target audience, Harmonius feels more suited for kids, adults who don't want a challenge or people who live in Daytona, Florida.