Turnacle, a new game for iPhones and iPads by Thomas Visser, is a cleverly enough designed application paired with a stunning amount of playability.
Turnacle looks and breathes iOS, featuring smooth animations and professional fonts. All around, it’s a very clean looking application that provides players with a game that may well shift your attention from important work to itself. For anyone bored with classwork, looking to burn time on your layover from LAX to ORD, or just looking for a fun game to play, Turnacle is the embodiment of exactly that. It’s a time waster disguised as an intelligent application that forces players to think.
It starts out simply enough. A how-to guide will give players a basic rundown of what the game is and how to play it (Fig. 1), essentially saying that the goal of the game is to tap each multi-colored circle so that, on a grid, the circles and their colors match up respectively.
Therefore, if a circle is 3/4 orange and 1/4 teal and the circle next to it is 1/4 orange and 3/4 teal, the idea is to tap the circles so that either color matches up (ex. Tap the 1/4 teal circle until the orange part aligns with the 1/4 orange piece of the circle beside it).
In ‘Classic’ mode, the goal is to solve the puzzle as quickly as possible. Each level will get progressively harder as you work them. Each level is snapped to a grid, starting off with a standard 2×2 grid and eventually growing to include larger grids and, on occasion, switches things up to include a vertical grid. Need a hint? Turnacle provides a hint button, but it’ll cost the player some odd amount of seconds added to their overall time.
‘Puzzle’ mode is a tad bit different. The game will present the player with an oddly shaped uneven grid with no time limit to complete it. The only downside to not having a time limit is, instead, having a move limit. Should you, the player, go over the allotted moves, the game will tell you to go back and try again using the ‘undo’ button. The safest bet would be to review the entire puzzle before tapping anything – know what you’re getting into.
Turnacle also features achievements for completing a level in a certain amount of time and/or moves, and while these achievements don’t actually count for anything, it’s nice to be recognized for all your grueling (and sometimes frustrating) work.
To date, the game has received a 4.5 star rating on the iTunes store based on 280 votes, and it’s safe to say that that’s a fair rating.