The Grid Puzzle app for iOS and Android essentially offers nonogram puzzles. Nonograms are grid-based puzzles with clues along the edges. The task is to determine which cells are filled in, and which are not.
If a nonogram sounds boring, get ready for a surprise. This app presents them in a very sleek and appealing manner, and the tutorial keeps things simple, but is still helpful.
The graphics are excellent, and it even comes with adjustable themes. If the primary color scheme leaves something to be desired, it can easily be changed, and there are several available. Customization is always a great feature, especially for a puzzle like nonogram that typically has little visual appeal.
The game also offers different goals and statistics for each level – something quite unique to the world of puzzles. After each level, a grade and a score are awarded based on completion time and accuracy (whether any wrong marks were placed and then removed). Goals like this add an extra level of satisfaction and engagement. Being able to replay a level and improve scores is a fantastic idea, and well executed in this instance.
Another nice bonus is that after each level, a famous quote or saying appears beside your ranking. This adds an artistic and personal element not found in many other games. Added to that, the puzzles are randomly generated, so there are no in-app purchases required for more puzzles to solve.
One downside is that it feels a little cramped on an iPhone. A larger screen such as an Android tablet or an iPad would definitely make it a more enjoyable experience. It isn’t as difficult to tap the right cell as it is to see the tiny clue numbers.
Another item that is less than perfect is the interface. Though impressive in terms of graphics, it often seems cumbersome. Some of the animations take several seconds, and could probably be removed or made shorter for the sake of battery usage and efficiency. Having to acknowledge the goals screen at the beginning of each puzzle quickly gets annoying.
Lastly, especially for the larger tablet versions of the app, the 5x5 grid is very restrictive. One can still hope that there are future plans for larger grid sizes to make for more of a challenge.
Overall, the app is very well put together and feels like a complete, exciting, and rewarding experience. It has enormous replay value, and turns nonograms from a boring grid of black and white squares into an interactive brain exercise that anyone can learn and enjoy.