Color Zen occupies a special place in my gaming heart right near games like Flow (which I reviewed for the YALSAblog App of the Week here), Boomshine (which you can download for iOS or play online here) and my favorite game that is for some reason not available as an app, Alchemy (from the people who brought us Plants vs. Zombies). These games are colorful, easy to learn, and relaxing on the early levels. By the later levels, they cause your brain to wrench, twist, and try to flip itself over as you attempt to develop increasingly sophisticated strategies to solve increasingly difficult puzzles.
Color Zen starts like this: your objective is to fill the screen with the color that matches the border around the screen. You do this by moving shapes together so that like colors touch. When they do, that color fills the screen. Easy enough when all you have are solid shapes that can be freely moved. Harder, as the shapes get layers, and get trapped by the structure of the puzzle. When you add white shapes into the mix, they take on the color of whatever shape you move into them. When you add black shapes, they disappear when you touch them with another shape, taking that shape’s color with them. I’m not sure about further complications, because I am currently stuck on level three, puzzle seven.
Not all of the shapes move. If you look closely at the second picture you can see that the smaller circles and the layered square at the bottom have faint glowing auras. This means you can move them.
Give this to teens who like puzzles, brain teasers, and strategy games. Collect it on a tablet with the other games I mentioned and bring it to a Teen Advisory Board Meeting, or a meeting of your Chess Club, for a brain twisting icebreaker activity.