December 5, 2011 | by Jamie Maltman
Evaluated version: 1.0.3
Pros: Intuitive Controls, Responsive, Addictive
Cons: Graphics May Not Engage Everyone
What would the marriage of Sudoku and a Rubik’s Cube with Tron doing the styling look like?
TalLee Perfect Sphere by Memy Ish Shalom.
If you’re into spatial math puzzles, definitely give this one a shot. I am better at math puzzles than the spatial side, and I still found this fun and addictive.
You start with a sphere divided into six colored “sides”, with each side divided into a 3×3 grid, which is given an individual number. At any given time you’re looking at one side, which is where it looks like Sudoku. That’s where the similarity stops, because your goal is to get each of the 6 sides to add up to a predetermined number. Tap on a number to select it, and tap on a second to complete the swap and see the recalculated totals per side. Swipe the sphere in any direction to move to that side. To keep things flowing quickly, the game keeps track of the running total for each side color coded at the bottom of the screen. You can swap any two numbers anywhere on the sphere, so its far more flexible than a Rubik’s cube, even though there are definitely some strategic similarities.
While the mechanics are simple, and on the easy setting with single digits not terribly difficult, the challenge escalates quickly as you go to the higher settings. Medium adds some 10s to the mix, and hard has you aiming for sums over 100 with all double digit numbers. You’ll very quickly get a handle on the basics, but getting that last side to add up is where it becomes much more difficult, and quite addictive. Thankfully the app keeps your most recent game available to resume later, so you don’t have to commit to solving the whole thing in one go.
Most people would likely dive right into the game, but the Easy Start mode actually lets you walk through the different strategies involved by giving you a series of challenges where only one number pair needs to be swapped. I definitely learned a few tricks from the Easy Start mode after banging my head against a few puzzles before I realized what it was.
The graphics are simple, but effective. While it doesn’t have the visual polish of a game like Sumon, it is functional and uses color effectively for gameplay, even if the fonts, colors and wireframe sphere are reminiscent of computer games of the mid-80s.
Try it, and I dare you to put it down once you get close! Back to try and get that last side down to 125 on Hard!