Who said a puzzle game has to consist of matching three or more blocks of the same color? Who said an iOS puzzle game should involve geometric shapes falling from the ceiling? Thomas Castel, the mind behind the iOS game called SEQ is certainly not one of these people, as he has created a minimalist puzzle game that involves linking sequences of numbers. Think of it as connect the dots but for grown ups.
SEQ is one of those games that will push your brain to its limit. If you are the kind of gamer who enjoys a puzzle game that actually gets those brain juices flowing, SEQ will serve you well. Just don’t expect this to be a cake walk because after the first few levels, this game will test the minds of even the most intelligent gamers. If you’re ready for a challenge download SEQ and you will get a good chunk of the levels free. If you find that you love it, even more levels are available via in-app purchase.
In SEQ, the board starts off with a number, or multiple numbers, and the number zero. The aim of the game is to count backward from the starting number to zero by drawing a line on the grid. There will always be exactly enough spaces to make the line in question, which is where much of the challenge comes from. As you progress through the game, there will be more than one starting number, more than one zero, and certain points on the board will be locked to a certain number forcing the path to travel through that point.
The controls are simple, and they serve the gameplay well. Simply tap on the number you wish to start with, and drag it to the point at which you want to finish. If you make a mistake and need to go back, simply start at the end point and slide your finger back to the start. If things really go wrong, you can click the circle on the top of the screen to reset the whole board and begin from scratch. Chances are that at some point the plausible solution will be way off, and you will need to use this button.
The gameplay difficulty ramps up at a good pace. The first few levels make you feel empowered, as you will be finding the solutions rather quickly. Once you get level 15 or so, things get complicated, and you brain will be tested. That being said the game never feels so hard that it makes you want to give up, and it strikes a nice balance in terms of overall difficulty.
Audio and Visuals
There is not a lot to say about the graphics, there is not much going on. Each of the starting numbers is a different color, the zeroes are gray, the background is a solid white and the spaces through which you can pass are surrounded by a simple gray border. The game has succeeded in achieving a very minimalist look which might not be your cup of tea, but I find it quite effective in a game such as this. Instead of making your eyes focus on the visuals, it emphasises the gameplay, and that’s a good thing.
There is no music of which to speak in SEQ, instead the sound effects serve as the music as each drag of a line plays a note. As you start progressing through the puzzles, it feels like you are making your own soundtrack to the game. The audio is well crafted, and the lack of background music serves the purpose of keeping the minimalist feel of the game.
The iOS puzzle game promises 220 unique levels, and while this true, only 40 of them are available with the free game. Depending on your skill level, this could take anywhere from an hour and up to beat. Each of the level packs costs $.99, and add another 60 levels to the game. There are three packs in total, and each one gets progressively harder than the last. $3 in total for another 180 levels is certainly not a bad deal, but it’s a little misleading when the app description claims there are 220.
Still, the free levels included are fun and it’s hard to complain when you get at least an hour or two of addictive and challenging gameplay without opening up your wallet. It’s well worth a try for anyone who enjoys games designed to get their mind working, and that’s why you’ll find it on our Best iPhone Games page.
Download: SEQ from the App Store