Blek

Blek's a puzzle game about creativity and expression, and it's a bit of a marvel.

Blek review

Hit the coloured dots and avoid the black ones: there are probably a thousand iOS puzzlers that have a comparable agenda. And yet Blek seems like something new. It's a toy as much as a game, and the solution to each challenge feels creative and oddly personal. Let me give you a clue: the answer to puzzle 23 is my middle name. It was for me, anyway. Who knows what it will be for you?

Blek's personal because this is a game about handwriting, when you really get down to it - a game about doodling, about taking a line for a walk and then standing back as the thing you've made comes to life. Faced with each of the sparse white puzzle screens, you draw a shape and watch as it then repeats itself, roving around the playing field, hopefully taking out those coloured dots and avoiding the black ones. If the line hits either the left- or the right-hand side of the screen it will bounce back and keep going. If it reaches the top or the bottom, it will disappear. Levels initially have lots of empty space, but they very quickly start to fill up. Some of the later puzzles are mazes. Some of them are minefields.

It's actually pretty magical watching that line take flight, particularly since Blek not only repeats the shape of your doodle but also captures the speed and hesitancy with which you draw it. The whole thing feels so much more alive as a result, each animation having its own pulse. Beyond that, it allows puzzles that might otherwise only be about looping around various obstacles en route to a target to feature simple timing challenges, too. Certain coloured dots will fire off little projectiles when hit, allowing you to create chain reactions, for example - if you get them at the right moment.

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