This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Good Games with Familiar Names. Additional details may be found in the original article.
The last title of this week’s Gems column is Little White Bear Studios’ TanZen ($1), a simple puzzle game that is also available in a free version called TanZen Lite. Based on the classic Chinese “dissection” puzzle game tangram, you’re given the silhouette of a large, angular shape, plus seven smaller, angular puzzle pieces from which to recreate it. The smaller pieces can’t overlap, and they also can’t exceed the boundaries of the silhouette.
While the full version of TanZen provides over 200 different puzzles—more are promised for an upcoming update—you can get a taste of the concept in the 18 puzzles of Lite, which will be enough for some players to fully sate their tangram needs. Thanks to the iPhone’s touchscreen and the developer’s use of simple one- and two-finger gesture commands, the process of selecting pieces, moving them, and rotating them is completely intuitive; the only challenge is figuring out how to do this properly for each of the puzzles.
The fact that there’s no audio doesn’t bother us much given the price and nature of the game; this is one of those titles that provides nice background entertainment as you’re listening to iPod music. TanZen is a good game for younger players, and the Lite version is a great starter title to download for someone with a brand-new iPod touch. iLounge Rating (TanZen): B+. iLounge Rating (TanZen Lite): A-.
Company and Price
Company: Little White Bear Studios
Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches