Nintaii is an app from developer Concrete Software that is sure to test any puzzle-addicted gamer’s mental prowess. The concept is fairly simple, but the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly. Luckily there are plenty of options that encourage the player to explore different puzzles and not get bogged down in anger or frustration.
Players are given control over a block that takes up two square units of the game board. The challenge is to roll this block across the board to the end of the level, represented by a hole in the board that the block must fall through. The trick here is that getting your block through the goal means that you have to have the correct orientation. The block will just lay down over the hole and not fall through unless you flip the block onto its end and then through the goal. It seems hard to explain, but once given control over the block, logic takes over and it will all start to make sense.
That is, until you consider all of the different switches, road blocks, and puzzles the levels throw at the player. Some of these twists to the formula include blocks that prevent the players brick from occupying or flipping over certain spaces, a board that constrains the player to a few measly spaces, or tiki-inspired blockers that are removed by hitting switches. As you progress through the levels, these challenges are mixed, matched, and tossed around to twist your brain into knots.
It’s OK though! According to Concrete Software, “nintai” is Japanese for “patience.” With a little patience and some head scratching, each puzzle is solvable. If you end up running out of patience, you won’t be missing out on Nintaii’s 100 puzzles, because Concrete Software has smartly included the option to skip puzzles and move on to the next one. It’ll still keep track of the one’s you’ve completed though, and you can revisit completed puzzles at any time.
What I liked best about Nintaii, though, is easily the control scheme. There are no onscreen buttons and you move your brick simply by swiping your finger on the touch screen. You can also scroll the screen around to see the entire game board by swiping with two fingers.
Nintaii’s graphics are also sharp and the textures are vivid. The backgrounds are all animated and add to the aesthetic. Nintaii is a clean looking app.
Nintaii is also on sale right now for an easy $0.99 cents. That’s less than a cent per puzzle, and with noggin-busters like these, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
Nintaii is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires the iPhone OS 2.0 or later.