“LandFormer” For iPhone

LandFormer is a a challenging puzzler game for iPhone.Even better, the basic game is FREE, giving you a chance to try it out before plunking down some scratch for the add-ons.

The game’s rules are deceptively simple. You are presented with a 5×5 grid of tiles, each capable of 5 different terrain levels: deep water, river, field, hill and mountain. Using six patterns, you raise or lower the tiles one step at a time until all are at field level. Each step counts as a move and each puzzle has a stated number of moves required to accomplish the feat. When you first start the game, a brief tutorial takes you through all of the game’s concepts.

The free game comes with 10 beginner levels which allow you to determine if this is your kind of game (it is decidedly my type of game!). An additional 50 levels (easy, medium, hard and expert) are available for $1.99 via in-app purchase. Another great feature in the free game is the ability to create your own levels, ingeniously implemented using the very same pattern tools. Once you have crafted your masterpiece, you can share it with friends, challenging them to solve it in the same number of moves it took to create it. The same Premium Content in-app purchase that provided the additional levels also gives you the ability to save your creations and those you receive from others. I made up one I entitled “Donner Pass” which I exchanged with the developer while I was preparing my review. Interestingly, he solved it in one fewer move than I took to create it, so I must have introduced an extraneous, superfluous move at some point and didn’t notice. He indicated it took him a few tries to match the number of moves exactly, which is another level of challenge that the game presents.

Also available for in-app purchase is a Disco theme which gives the game a Studio 54/Saturday Night Fever spin by way of colorful, glowing tiles. I just read on the developer’s blog that they are working on a City theme as well.

The free version is entertaining in its own right and the additionally available content is top shelf quality.

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