Browsing the iOS App Store and Google Play for the latest gaming apps has become a weekly ritual for me. Every Thursday night, as I’m about to call it a day, I take a good five to ten minutes to sift through the download charts and the mire of new releases. Some of the games are ones I’ve heard of in passing, finally make their debut, whereas others are filed away in the “ah, I’ll wait for sale” or “wildcard” corners of my mind.
Voro - which is out on iOS but has no Android release in sight - definitely fits into the latter category. Even though you can usually grab a sweet game for as little as 69p, Voro is part of the constant flow of free titles that far too often end up getting deleting within minutes or saved for occasional ten-minute breaks.
The concept behind Abstratum’s puzzler is simple. Players are presented with a randomised board of tiles, each one a different, irregular and jagged shape. By connecting four or more of the same colour, you destroy them, smashing away a layer and allowing more tiles to flood in. The end goal is to eradicate every tile from the board, one colour group at a time.
After playing the first few stages you’ll realise Voro is far from challenging. Its initial laxness allows for heavy experimentation as you slide tiles about the screen, watching as they contract and expand while passing adjacent pieces. It’s somewhat mesmerising and, for a short time, Voro became one of those games I had running as I sat about doing other things, occasionally reaching over to beat a level.
However, things become steadily more and more challenging as you progress. The number of moves start to become limited and colours will also start to reappear, even if you have previously wiped them completely from the board. At this point Voro became a little less appetising to me.
It suddenly went from a tertiary game I could play passively for a few snatched moments to one that actually required my attention. I had to start thinking about my moves instead of swiping and simply seeing what happens.
If you blitz your way through the stock catalogue of levels in the free base game, there are more available through a micro-transaction. A Rapid Mode option also exists (for free) changing the format somewhat by removing your ability to move tiles.
As touched on before, Voro isn’t one of those mobile games that will change your life. It’s great when first getting to grips with but soon gets repetitive with no sense of reward unless you enjoy trying to top your own high scores.