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Score: 75%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: SoFresh Games
Developer: SoFresh Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Strategy/ Family

Graphics & Sound:

The first introduction I had to handheld gaming was on the road with some friends, one of whom had just purchased a GameBoy. Not even the color variety, which dates me a bit... The game, of course, was Tetris and we all oohed and aahed over the blocks falling down and the challenge of making the tidy rows necessary to achieve good scores. It seems quaint by today's standards, but there was really something to that game. RuniK feels cut from the same cloth, a game whose appeal sneaks up on you. These falling blocks are colorful and bear signs that give them rune-like qualities, we suppose. The soundtrack for RuniK is well constructed and very laid back, befitting the casual gameplay. Tapping produces audio feedback, which you can dial down along with other sound effects, if you choose. Falling blocks and matching colors is what RuniK is all about, so if you come for a relaxed puzzler, you'll be happy. The graphics won't blow you away, but this is more about strategy and gameplay.


The shape-matching focus of Tetris was pretty one dimensional, in the end. You've got a few variations with creative modes in something like the Wii release, Tetris Party, but architectural block-building will always be the bread and butter of that title. RuniK is also a one-trick pony, in the sense that it uses color matching alone. Think of this as being like a Match-3, but with the added benefit of arranging larger combos capable of clearing huge swathes of blocks when done correctly. Beyond score challenges, RuniK includes a list of 20 achievements you can reach by scoring big or performing some special maneuver during play. Since there's no variety in play modes, the incentive to push through special challenges gives RuniK slightly more shelf life than it might otherwise have. This, along with the fact that you can save and resume games in progress, makes it easy to pick RuniK up for a bit and then put it down. Once you get the hang of the color-matching dynamics driving the game, you'll find it's hard to put down.


Accessible to players of almost any ability and age, RuniK requires only some basic skill in predicting patterns and matching colors. This sweeps in younger and older gamers that aren't willing or prepared to learn complex rules for gameplay. How you score in RuniK will depend on how aggressively you play for combos. It's through these moves that you'll really rack up big scores, but players not invested in scoring big can still while away a lot of time with RuniK. Older folks will recognize a bit of Solitaire logic in RuniK. Your goal is to remove all blocks, and you start getting good at recognizing the visual patterns that indicate big patterns versus those that will result in painting oneself into a corner. As soon as you get the gameplay, RuniK seems much more challenging. Younger players will just get a kick out of matching a few colored blocks and clearing levels, however inelegantly. A Highscores section keeps you humble, or lets you gloat as you surpass your friends' scores.

Game Mechanics:

RuniK is implemented entirely as a tapping game. There's no sliding or more complex maneuvers to be done, with again rewards those new to gaming or those older folks that won't spend time to learn complex gestures or keystrokes. Tapping a color once activates it, showing other surrounding blocks that will be removed if you tap again. If you change your mind and think you can draw together a few more distant blocks, you can tap elsewhere on the screen to try something different. Matching blocks are only those that share a side with some block of the same color. White blocks match everything, and you can trigger a special move that matches all blocks of a certain color. If you finish a round with blocks remaining, those become dormant, until you do a match adjacent to them, at which point they regain their coloration. This helps prevent too many dead ends in the game, which also alleviates frustration.

There's nothing about RuniK that isn't easy to like, apart from it displaying ads. If you're not into that kind of thing, you may be put off, but the advertising is pretty innocuous. Stylish, simple, and effectively executed, RuniK is something we'd like to see more of on our Android phone. Sure, we'll eventually see lots of complex and interesting games brought to mobile, but the fun factor of a game like RuniK is extremely high, without demanding a lot from you as the player. If falling blocks and matching three is your cup of tea, definitely grab a copy of RuniK for Android.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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