Available on: iOS
The App Store is inundated with minimalist puzzle games. They’re one of those things that you use the tired phrase “why, if I had a dollar for every time I saw one, I’d have a lot more dollars than I do now” about them, or some variation thereof. Given just how many options there are in the genre, minimalist puzzle games really need to be spectacular to stand out from the crowd. RYB does this with ease.
Many puzzle games struggle with a suitable learning curve. Some expect you to make huge leaps while others hold your hand through the puzzles so tightly you start to lose circulation in it. RYB does neither. Instead, it gives minimal instructions and then gently nudges you to figure the rest out for yourself. As developer (and nationally ranked puzzle solver) Paul Hlebowitsh explained to me at PAX East, adding additional tutorials to it would ruin the fun, as part of the challenge is figuring out each new rule within the game.
Having so few instructions could have made for a nightmarishly difficult game, but after playing through the game in its entirety I can assure you that that is not the case. While there are definitely some moments where you might need to stop and think for a moment, every puzzle has a logical solution that you can arrive at through, well, logic. Each solved conundrum makes you want to go on and try your hand at the next one. After the first puzzle I continued on in this manner until I had finished the whole game.
The bright colors, clean lines and uncomplicated rules make RYB not only a fun, relaxing challenge for adults, but also a great tool to introduce children to logic. Each puzzle can be used to illustrate how to make logical deductions, and the quick feedback on whether the player has made a right or wrong move helps to reinforce the learned rules. However, I would heartily recommend RYB as a game to play with your young logic student so that they do not simply jab at the screen until they arrive at the correct answer through chance. A game like RYB is a great opportunity to show kids at a young age how satisfying thinking carefully about problems and solving puzzles can be.
RYB is the first game from FLEB, a Boston based collection of puzzle designers. It is currently available for iOS.