This is Gaming Cypher’s iOS (iPhone) review done by Justin Park for Linia by developer Black Robot Games.
Recently, the mobile puzzle genre seems to be crowded with similar gameplay. Linia brings a fresh new type of puzzle game to iOS. As soon as you start playing, you’ll realize the gameplay is something new. Essentially, the player has to swipe across the screen and create a line that hits moving shapes of different colors. The colors the player hits must match the colors listed on the top of the screen in each level. Each level is one of around ten stages per level, and each stage is associated with a NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo…etc.). This means you have plenty of gameplay to enjoy, and a very long way to go before you run out of puzzles in Linia.
As expected, the earlier stages are easier, and soon enough some stages become real brain teasers. The shapes start moving in faster and more intricate paths, and in some cases they don’t move until you start swiping. Timing and controlling the length of each swipe is crucial to getting results. There is a degree of patience and precision required that makes through each stage a very rewarding experience. Unfortunately, some of the stages in levels as early as foxtrot can seem impossible. Also the player must complete the current stage to progress to the next one, so there is no option to come back when you’ve finished other stages in the current level to try again. When you feel very stumped this can be incredibly frustrating, and I can see more casual mobile gamers being put off by the challenge. While the moving pieces in each stage could make it hard to provide clues to the player, any sort of hint feature would definitely help encourage players to keep playing.
As for the art design, Linia has a clear identity. The colors and shapes are simple, clear, and never off putting. The music is limited and not mesmerizing or pleasant enough to listen to instead of your own music when playing. However, it has an off option in the menu and should never negatively impact your experience. One option that would’ve been appreciated, would be some sort of feature that allows easier navigation through the levels you’ve finished. Instead of clicking past each stage, a larger menu to easily click or go to the level you want to would have made the game much more user friendly. Also some sort of preview of the design in the stages within the level would have been cool as well.
Overall, Linia is an incredibly fresh and fun puzzle game. The gameplay is very different from most puzzle games in the app store, and it is a lot of fun. With patience and precision, progressing through challenging levels can be a rewarding experience. However, the almost absurd difficulty of some stages and the nature of how you progress in the game could be too much for some people. As mentioned earlier, some sort of hint feature would definitely motivate players to keep trying. A more user friendly menu would also improve the game. However, the shortcomings of Linia should definitely not keep you from playing this very enjoyable game. If you are a fan of puzzle games, Linia is definitely worth trying out. I rate Linia a 9/10.