How the developers, Tareso, describe Meqanic (out now, free) is as a non-intuitive puzzle game. What that means is it’s up to you to figure out how things work.

You are presented two square patterns largely composed of colored squares. The second pattern is your goal, and you’ve got to manipulate the first pattern to match it. To do this, you’ll place one or more blocks of symbols in a certain order. Each symbol does something different, and they interact with each other according to where they’re placed. Most symbols are actually letters, such as X, Y, Z, H, S, T. There’s also one named SWAP. Some will shift the colored squares in a certain way, while others may change the colors.

screen480x480The trouble with these “symbols” is they’re non-intuitive, as in they don’t depict their action. So figuring out what they do at the start is by trial and error. And after you manage to decipher them, you’ll have to remember what each one does. That can be tougher than normal because they’re letters and not descriptive icons. This non-intuitive aspect is essentially the backbone of this puzzle game, and it may not please everyone.

Meqanic offers 280 core puzzles free, with more available for unlocking via IAP. Although this seems like a good number of puzzles, not all of them are unique. Levels 1, 8, and 11 are exactly the same (though Level 1, as a tutorial level, only has one symbol block). Level 10 is also a copy of Level 4, and Level 12 is Level 4 repeated. It’s almost as if it’s testing your memory of what you used in the earlier levels. I can’t guess why the puzzles are repeated, but a separate random mode would be preferable. The way it is now, 280 comes across as false advertising.

Verdict

Meqanic is an intriguing and challenging game, but due to its non-intuitive and abstruse nature, it may not suit all puzzle lovers. Bear in mind also that it doesn’t really have 280 free levels, as some are duplicated. But since the game is currently free, it’s still worth trying.