I will always be a sucker for a good puzzle game. No matter how much time I spend playing big-name titles and reviewing complex games, there is always something intriguing about a challenging and relaxing puzzle. Lucky for me, the iOS App Store offers hundreds of addictive titles, so there’s no shortage of ways to spend some free time.
Even though you can find numerous reviews of iOS puzzle games right here on JustGoodBites, where the last one we reviewed was Cut the Rope – Magic, we are always on the hunt for the next best one. I also recommending checking our other review of puzzle games, such as Lumino City and Ghosts of Memories. You won’t be disappointed with any of these titles.
Open Bar – Keep em’ Coming!
In this article you will be able to learn about Open Bar – Keep ‘em coming! ($1.99), which is a new puzzle game made by Gingear Studio. What I found interesting about this developer is the fact that it was founded by a former Ubisoft employee who decided to become an indie developer. He recently published an article on his personal blog about why he decided to leave Ubisoft – one of the biggest development studios in the world, as well as why working in a large and complex environment isn’t as exciting as one can expect. I recommend checking this article, especially if you work in a large company, where you might feel that your voice can’t be heard.
Now let’s talk about this interesting game.
Visuals and Art Style
As you can see from the screenshots, the visuals in Open Bar are minimalistic and flat. I am a big fan of this trend of UI design, especially when it’s done in a tasteful way. However, things are not as flat as they could be since there is a touch of depth to the graphics due to subtly animated shadows. Open Bar comes with a default theme that is very bright and vivid, but you can unlock several themes and color variations by playing this game.
In addition, the game seems to be highly optimized and works without an issue. The pieces move around the screen smoothly, creating very interesting shadow play, as well as wiggle when you try to make a move that is forbidden. In all honesty, I think this is one of the best-looking puzzles that I played in a very long time. There is also an upbeat soundtrack that goes well with the overall quirkiness of Open Bar – Keep ‘em Coming!
Concept & Gameplay
When it comes to the gameplay, the goal of each puzzle is the same. You need to line up the bars so they run through the length or width of the grid. Even though things start slowly by introducing only two colors, you can see much more complex levels soon. Each level can be solved in up to three moves, and there is a hint system implemented as well. The game doesn’t come with in-app purchases, so you can use hints without worrying that you will use them up. Even though I believe that I am very good at all kinds of puzzles, I had to use a hint every now and then, which tells you that you’ll have to think hard before making a move.
Each puzzle will show you a combination of colored bars. Along the bottom, you can find more bars that are arranged like plus symbols, and these can be rotated. Now you need to think where that missing piece should go. Additionally, you can drag the new piece onto the board, but you can’t place it on the portion that already has a bar. This might sound confusing, but trust me that this game is very enjoyable and challenging enough to help you relax instead of annoying you.
As you solve levels, you will receive coins, which then can be spent on new themes. Once again, there are no in-app purchases. I liked every theme that I unlocked so far, and it’s visually striking to play around with them. Sometimes, you will receive bonus coins that are “on the house”. Unlocking different themes and checking out how they look can be a nice way to staying motivated to keep playing.
I have been playing this game for a couple of days now, and I believe that I went through maybe 30 or 40 levels. I was interested in how many levels are left to be solved, buy I wasn’t able to find this information. This is why I can’t tell you how many hours of addictive fun this game can bring, but it’s clear that you’ll get your money’s worth and probably even more.
I highly recommend purchasing and downloading Open Bar if you like to play puzzles. This is definitely one of the best ones that I tried. There are no in-app purchases, so you get all of its content. All in all, there is nothing negative that can be said about this charming and challenging iOS creation. The visuals are stunning, especially all the animations that are smooth as they can possibly be. As always, the core of every game is its gameplay, which is yet another field where Open Bar has to offer a lot.
Open Bar – Keep ‘em Coming! is an iOS puzzle that I will be playing for a long time, so naturally, I can only recommend you download it and try it out for yourself.