Ichi App Review – A Charming & Relaxing Puzzler

Ichi ($0.99) is Stolen Couch Games’ latest entry into the App Store and it’s definitely a good one. It’s a step away from their previously-hardcore Kids Vs. Goblins, transitioning to much simpler graphics for a more relaxing title.

The main aim of Ichi is to guide a yellow dot to collect gold circles placed around the puzzles. You don’t physically control the dot as it moves in a straight line. As each level starts, the dot begins to move towards various shapes placed on the course. As it hits them, it rebounds and changes direction, which is where we come in. By tapping once, all the red triangles in the puzzle will rotate. The awkward shape of triangles make the puzzler just that – sometimes you must think quickly and rotate them 275 degrees before the dot reaches the next triangle. If you aren’t quick enough, the dot will rebound into another direction and either bounce back off a wall or disappear into a zig-zag, forcing you to restart the level.

You can also draw a grey line by swiping on the screen. This will help you in certain levels where you need a wall to rebound off but there’s a spike instead. The grey lines disappear after a few seconds, so you have to draw them at the right moment.

Timing is also key to achieve a higher ‘grade’. After completing each level, you are given a grade depending on how many rotations you made (A being the best, F being the worst). Each level has a specific number of rotations allowed in order to achieve an A grade. It’s not like ‘par’ in golf where it’s the expected number, instead it is the minimum number that is even possible.

The game comes along with an integrated level editor meaning users can go about creating their own levels. While it’s a great addition, it’s a bit tedious to drag level elements considering you’re limited to where you can place them. However, there’s a huge database filled with levels created by players around the world ranging from difficult to easy and each rated out of five stars. I just hope that Stolen Couch sort through the levels each month and add worthy level packs to the main meat of the game accordingly.

While Ichi might sounds quite bland purely from the only game elements that the player controls, the game really excels with everything else. It’s clear that the developers were going for a super casual feel from the graphics – a white background, yellow dot, squared paper and simple shapes all make for a relaxing atmosphere. All the elements have a little glow to them too so it livens it all up.

The music should also be taken account of. It’s fun, quirky and makes you feel successful after collecting a coin. It really is awesome and suits the game perfectly.

Despite its rather too simple gameplay with just a couple of things to do, Ichi is an extremely well-made casual puzzler. It’s perfect for just relaxing and doing nothing more.

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Written by guest writer Daven Gomes.