One of the most popular puzzle games on Android and iOS right now does not contain birds, angry or otherwise. There are no rotating blocks. You don't have to match three of anything. Physics isn't a particular concern, and power-ups are completely unneccessary. Shapes, colours and sounds — that's all Color Zen needs.
Upon first launching Large Animal Games' latest creation, steadily climbing the iOS and Android charts, I was a bit flummoxed at how such a simple game could gain such notoriety. The player is tasked with filling the screen with the colour indicated by the scren border by dragging matching colours into each other. How easy. Then again, the opening levels of Color Zen look like this:
That's the first level in the first of six sets of 20 levels each. For an idea of how complicated things can get, check out this one, towards the end of the second set.
By the second set the game has introduced the colour white, which works as a wildcard, adding a little spice to what otherwise would be a simple progression logic problem. Intuition mixes with logic and the game comes alive, though in a completely non-threatening sort of way.
There are no timers in Color Zen. You aren't being scored. It's a game where you're meant to take your time. Slip on some headphones and listen to the soothing sounds of Steve Woodzell, and just lose yourself in the colour and shapes.
Color Zen is a game, but it's also abstract art in which your mind is a key component.