SlideItOut HD, an iPad app by Australian developer Wiremuch, is the most fun you’ll ever have moving wooden blocks. The excellent puzzle-based gameplay not only provides an engaging time-killer, but offers an endless amount of replay to boot.
The thing that hooked me most about SlideItOut HD is the clever gameplay. The basic idea is simple, but offers a great amount of complexity in later levels. Essentially, the player is given a board filled with multi-colored blocks. To the right of this grid is a list of shapes that need to be created by sliding said blocks about to match. Once the player has arranged the proper amount of colored blocks exactly as shown, a quick double-tap clears that shape form the list. What’s left behind are a set of blank blocks, which can be double-tapped again to change their color. With a limited amount of space and colors available, the real trick is to gather the blocks in the proper shape—an increasingly difficult task by the later levels. SlideItOut HD is at its best when the necessary blocks are few, or very far between.
SlideItOut HD also offers two different game modes. The first is a puzzle style game, where blocks must be arranged to match the given shapes within a set number of moves. The second is called “Arcade Mode,” and works off a time limitation. The player must arrange all of the blocks before the board, which begins blank, is completely filled with colored blocks. Obviously as the levels progress this change occurs faster and faster, creating ample finger-flicking fun.
Graphics and Sound
As much as I loved the gameplay idea, SlideItOut HD does look a bit bland. The designers have opted to use a more subdued color pallet and wood-grain design that didn’t seem to fit the exciting gameplay. This is a small gripe, but I would also have liked to see (or hear, rather) sound effects for each block move, as well as a change in music to reflect the rapidly vanishing time in Arcade Mode. The lack thereof is by no means a deal-breaker, but the added touches would be appreciated.
Overall Value and Fun
All in all, I think Wiremuch have done a fantastic job with a unique idea by creating a clever and engaging puzzle game that will appeal to a wide audience. The progression of difficulty is very slow between levels, and the visual elements are a bit bland, but the incredibly fun gameplay is more than enough to make up for SlideItOut HD’s shortcomings. At $2.99 in the App Store, with an iPhone version fresh out and Mac edition coming soon, SlideItOut HD is a steal that, with its replay value, will have you sliding for a long time to come.
SlideItOut HD iPad app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating:
SlideItOut HD iPad Video Demo