Ichi brings a couple of things to mind: the Japanese word for the number one, and the adorable simplicity that drives the Ichi app. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s an intriguing little puzzler that relies on simple taps and holds to corral bouncing balls and lines in a grid paper-like arena.
It’s your job to interact with the many triangles and other geometric shapes scattered among each of Ichi’s levels by pivoting them so that the bouncing balls reflect off of each, and in turn activating other shapes as well. In order to effectively collect all of the tiny colored circles in each level, you need to draw short lines via bouncing ball as well. At first, Ichi eases you into interacting with the many different elements of each puzzle, and then in later instances you’re tossed right out into considerably more difficult areas with newer obstacles, and brand new paths to trace out.
It’s hip to be square.
With every new puzzle to solve within Ichi, there are new layers of play — new shapes, more circles to collect, and more to explore. Your performance, like most apps these days, is measured on a grading scale from A to B. Each area reveals how many taps you have left available to you until the grade threshold drops one level, encouraging you to really analyze each movement rather than attack without calculation. It’s an interesting addition and a helpful tool for those who wish to fine-tune their play style and improve as time goes on.
While there’s a decent variety of puzzles available, you can also create your own with a simple-to-use level editor. You can share your work with others, and download friends’ levels. Combined with a simple “blueprint” aesthetic, Ichi really reaches to kindle that inner pioneering spirit — the pencil smudges and font that resembles handwriting are also cool touches.
Two plus three equals negative fun!
Ichi is a smart puzzler that offers plenty of creative problem-solving that’s suitable for all ages. The first few levels are a bit tame, however, and may lull you into seeking out another form of entertainment. That’s not a knock on Ichi, though — its gameplay doesn’t work for long stretches of play. Best to play Ichi in short and sweet bursts, like when inspiration hits and you take pencil to paper. That’s when Ichi truly shines, and you’ll feel it, too.