Once in a while, a game comes along that is nigh on impossible to describe, which is bloody well great for me, whose job it is to describe it.
Blek is one such game, and even the App Store description concedes: “Blek can't be described with words”. Phew; so it’s not just me being an idiot.
Ok, let’s give this description thing a try. Blek is split into 60 levels, and the goal in each is to collect all the coloured circles and avoid the black ones. And how do you do that?
Well, when you draw a shape on the screen, it repeats ad nauseam – or at least until it collides with a black circle. If you’re lucky enough to make contact with all the coloured circles, you’re onto the next level.
Let’s say I draw a horizontal line from left to right that curves up in a quarter circle on the right hand side. When I let go of my finger, that shape starts over, so it’ll extend in an identical horizontal line from left to right and curve up in a quarter circle on the right hand side. And repeat.
If none of that makes sense (I don’t judge you), head over to YouTube, where the 69-second Blek trailer explains everything visually.
Interestingly, perusing the App Store listing, Blek has proved rather divisive, with critics throwing around words like “perfect”, “beauty” and “genius”.
Meanwhile, many users are crying out for help in the form of purchasable hints, as Blek is just TOO FREAKIN’ HARD.
See, there’s really no limit to the shapes you can draw. Indeed, if I can be cheesy for a moment: the only limit is your imagination.
But the flip side of the coin is that there’s often more than one solution. Ultimately Blek feels a tad – what’s the word? – imprecise, or possibly abstract; it’s not an exact science.
As Blek goes on, the puzzles become increasingly infuriating, and I mean seriously infuriating. I enjoy a good challenge (I’m thinking of The Room Two and Device 6), but I never had that “Aww man, that was genius!” feeling when I finished a particularly taxing level. More so a case of “Here we go again” when presented with another baffling array of black and coloured balls.
On the whole, I’d say, for me, Blek was probably more interesting than it was enjoyable. If you’re in two minds, definitely go for it. There’s currently 66% off, so that’s 69p instead of the usual £1.99.
- Interesting concept
- Clean design
- No IAPs
- Seriously difficult
- Feels a bit random at times
- No hint system (yet)
Summary: Is Blek a slice of touchscreen gaming perfection, or a steaming pile of brutal nonsense? You decide. Personally, I’m not sure how much I enjoyed Blek, but that’s not to say I didn’t appreciate the concept. Good? Yes. Fun? Er…
Developer: Denis Mikan
Price: usually £1.99 @ App Store (69p at the time of writing)
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.