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'Blek': Dumb name, smart game

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Blek for iOS devices

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Every so often a game inexplicably rises to the top of the mobile app stores: Blek is not one of those games. Instead, it has every reason to be at the top of the must have games for your child's portable device.

Blek is certainly not a mindless waste of time. Instead its clever design and excellent puzzles provide a thoughtful and creative experience. Not long ago, we saw the rise and fall of Flappy Bird, a simple game that relied on reflexes, timing and pattern memorization. Thankfully, the game was free and so there was little question of the game's value for money. Blek, on the other hand, has gained its following despite its price tag of $2.99. And so we must ask, is this trendy game worth your or your child's money, and perhaps more importantly, their time?

The short answer is absolutely. No parent should be concerned about the time their child spends playing this game. In order to collect all of the orbs in a level, players must draw shapes that the game then repeats in an almost life-like way around the map. For instance, if the player draws the shape of a "3", it will then crawl down the screen like a caterpillar. Soon, players are tasked with avoiding obstacles, adding a new of complexity to the puzzles. The level design matches the clever game design with most puzzles demanding novel solutions. Every puzzle seems to have many ways to solve it, and there is no strict penalty for mistakes. Thus, experimentation and creative solutions are encouraged.

Gaming trends can be hard to predict, and often they bring about games that are little more than digital candy--enjoyable but not nourishing. Games like Blek are good old PB&J, delicious and good for them.

Blek is currently available for iOS devices for $2.99 with an Android release planned. Learn more at blekgame.com.

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