‘reflow’ Review: Difficult to Describe, Easy to Grasp, Challenging to Play

reflow iphone ipad-1

reflow iphone ipad-1

Rating: ★★★★★

reflow uses your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad’s camera to turn the world around you into a game. It displays objects as an abstract black and white image. On top of that there are waterfalls of color that flow in a path determined by the accelerometer, unless they bump into an obstacle such as the edge between black and white. Your job is to fill the sinks at the bottom of the screen with the correct colors to move to the next level.

You have to find the right mix and placement of black and white to keep the streams flowing. And the streams must change colors and land in the matching sink to count. So pink streams go in the pink sink and blue ones in the blue sink for points. The streams change color by bouncing off obstacles or going through filters.

reflow iphone ipad-2

You can swipe the screen for the negative, which helps immensely if you are in a bright environment as streams flow on black and stop or bounce off white. You can also double tap the screen to take a still image and work with it.

reflow iphone ipad-3

It is also possible to play reflow like a Kinect game using the front-facing camera. You, and maybe some friends, become the obstacles the stream bounces off. You can respond to the challenges by being still or moving as necessary. Played on the larger iPad screen, it could be quite an icebreaker. And the music is suitably trippy for this psychedelic game.

reflow iphone ipad-4

reflow is a game difficult to describe, easy to grasp, and challenging to play. Because it’s based on your surroundings, it will never be the same twice, even if you’re in the same place.
reflow - xymatic
Pros:

  • It’s fluidness makes for constant challenge
  • Visual abstraction is mesmerizing
  • No pattern, can’t be repeated or memorized

Cons:

  • Instructions are very basic, you have to discover features yourself
  • Some of the gesture features are tricky to find

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