A major factor that game developers must consider when working with a platform such as Windows Phones is the interface. The fact that Windows phones come in all shapes and sizes is one of the strengths of the platform, but in this case it can be a challenge. Developers must take into account things like the fact that the device hardware may not include hardware buttons and the screen resolution could be any of a number of configurations. One solution to this problem is to use the old K.I.S.S. design rule; Keep It Simple Stupid. One game that practices this rule to perfection is Meon from Manbolo.
One of the first Games to appear on Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Meon is a puzzle based game that requires you to use strategy in order to direct light into different areas of the puzzle. A Lite version featuring about 30 levels is available for free, with the full version setting you back $2.99.
This game is highly addicting. If that sounds good to you, click on through. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Playing Meon is amazingly simple from an interface standpoint. With your finger or a stylus you move pieces around the screen to direct lights toward the different goals. At times, the light beams must be colored by using a splitter in order to match the color presented by a goal.
The game starts with the simplest of tasks, simply lining up the light source with a goal. As the game progresses, Meon introduces new concepts into the game; presenting you with more challenging puzzles as the game progresses. If you want an idea of just how complex it gets, this is level 92 solved. The Lite version of the application gives you around 30 levels, which is just enough to whet your appetite. Remember, the first one is always free.
Meon doesn’t feature a lot of movement, which works both ways. One the one hand it’s not the most visually appealing game on the market, but it’s also very easy to use. That’s not to say that you’re looking at a boring screen, or that the presentation is unprofessional; it’s just that the point of the game is completing the puzzles, not taxing your system and distracting you with pointless pixels. The other benefit of the minimalistic graphics is that your device doesn’t take a performance hit. This is especially good news for the folks on older hardware.
Meon is a perfect example of what a game for Windows Phones should be like. Simple UI, graphics that don’t overcome the content, and a concept that blows you away. If you have even a passing interest in games or puzzles, Meon will entertain you for hours. Grab your copy from the Marketplace for $2.95, or from Manbolo directly for $5.95.