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When you play a game on your iPhone, are you looking for something relaxing and easy-going that will just kill a few minutes? If so, ON/OFF (free) is another quick blast you should download. You should jump into it as if you are a crazy masochist who enjoys having a game with puzzles so difficult that it will actually make your brain hurt.
When a game names its difficulty levels Hard, Harder, and Hardest, you know you are in for a game that is not going to hold your hand or make things easy for you. But that’s all part of the fun.
The general idea of ON/OFF is to match colored squares with the correct spaces to turn on the switch. So, if you see a blue switch you would want to put a blue piece or pieces next to it, and connect these blues all the way to their eventual destination. At its core it is very simple, but things get crazier as you move through the levels. The game gives you one or two levels to get acclimated to the mechanics, and then it ramps it up and really starts bringing the pain.
Once you get to the more advanced levels, it’s not as simple as just sliding the pieces around. Instead, you will have blank spots where you need to position pieces in order to change the order, or pieces that have limited motion. Each level the mechanics evolve, bringing a new type of challenge. Basically, when you think you have the game all figured out, it adds a new wrinkle to remind you that, in fact, you have no idea what it is going on.
The controls are incredibly simple. All you are really doing is sliding pieces around. They get the job done, and they do a great job of not getting in the way of the core mechanics, which is what this game is really all about.
Audio & Visuals
The visuals in ON/OFF are basic, but that’s not a bad thing. The game uses very vibrant colors on a plain white background that actually looks quite modern and beautiful. There is something to say for the skill required to make a game that is still enjoyable to look at without fancy 3D visuals.
Since this is a game where challenging mechanics are the focus, it’s good to see that developers didn’t bother with annoying backgrounds, and chose to instead focus on making the game look good while ensuring the difficult puzzles remain the center of your attention at all times.
Like the graphics, the sound is simple and effective. You will hear little beeps and bops when you match a piece and complete a level, and there is a very pleasing little click sound when you move the squares around. There is no annoying music playing, instead the game allows your movements to be the soundtrack, which does a great job of fitting into the minimal theme that the game is going for.
Value & Game Life
The game is free to download from the App Store, but you will only get access to the first set of levels. You can purchase the Harder, Hardest, and Extra level packs for $0.99 each, or you can purchase all of them for $1.99.
In spite of only getting the Hard pack for free, the challenging levels will keep you playing for a good amount of time without spending any money. If you are very skilled at solving puzzles, you can probably beat the 40 levels in an hour or two, but for most gamers the overwhelming difficulty will make these levels a lot harder to beat; increasing the life of the game.
Spending two dollars on the level pack will offer hours upon hours of challenging gameplay, which is about as much as you can ask for from a value perspective.
Do you like suffering in a good way? Then you need to play ON/OFF. The simple game with the even simpler name is actually not simple at all. While the core mechanics might seem basic, the level of challenge is nothing else you will find on the App Store. Seriously, just download it and prepare to have your brain pushed to its very limit.
Download: ON/OFF (free)
If you want more awesome games like this, make sure to check out our Best iPhone Games Page. Have you tried ON/OFF? How many levels were you able to beat? Hit the comments section below and let us know!