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18 Nov 2013

Cryptica game review

Cryptica Lite is an ingenious puzzle game for Android operating systems that features plenty of content around its basic mechanic of moving blocks to specific squares.

In Cryptica Lite, you have a very simple premise to start from: you have blocks with different tribal-looking symbols on them, and you want to maneuver the blocks so that they are on top of the spaces that have the same symbols.

However, where this game becomes really inventive is with the play mechanics, because the blocks all start out a certain number of spaces apart, and when you move one of them, you move all of them at the same time.

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Cryptica screenshots












In other words, if your blocks are three spaces apart, when you move them right or left, they will stay that way unless one of the blocks physically can't move. Therefore, you have to use walls, blocking stones (which do not move), and other special items to keep some blocks in place while you move others.

It is a very simple hook that you will learn and be comfortable with immediately, but that provides for a really fun challenge at the higher levels of play. Game play is very simple. To drag blocks, you simply touch them and then move your finger in the direction that you want to move them.

Better yet, if you move in a direction and then hold your finger at that point, the blocks will continue moving in that direction. It's a nice user-friendly touch that makes the controls even easier to use.

Cryptica Lite has four levels of difficulty: Ajaw (easy), B'Alam (medium), K'uk (hard), and Cha (expert). When you play, you will find that the puzzles are very appropriately placed by difficulty level, with plenty of fun to be had with the early levels, while the later levels provide an appropriately difficult (but still fun) challenge.

After you complete a level, you are given information based upon your performance, which is judged in how many “steps” you took (each movement is a step), how many steps you used in your best all-time score on that level, and what the minimum amount of steps was to solve the puzzle.

This information gives you the incentive to keep improving your scores, even after you've solved a puzzle. In the game, there are plenty of objectives to achieve, too. You can collect four relics and 24 rare coins that are achievements you can earn throughout the game's 120 puzzles.

The HD graphics are very impressive, with the stones having a very real look to them, and the jungle-inspired music is adventurous without being annoying. As you play, you will get a pop-up that tells you when you earn new coins in order to congratulate you, which is a nice touch.

It's obvious that a lot of work went into Cryptica Lite, which plays like a top-notch puzzle game should. There are dozens of fun and challenging puzzles to go with a really brilliant play mechanic that you won't find elsewhere.

Android users should definitely give this one a try.

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Download Cryptica from Android market