Underrated puzzling gem
An unusual diversion, Color Lines is one of those games that will appeal to puzzle fans who value exercising their minds rather than their trigger fingers. Hailing from Russia, like its spiritual predecessor Tetris, Color Lines shares that classic's simple approach to puzzling, requiring players to build lines of five balls, each of the same colour. Unlike Tetris, Color Lines is played against the computer, with alternating turns where each player moves one ball across a 9 x 9 grid into the desired location. Moves can only be made if there is a clear path and if a line of 5 is made, then those balls disappear, adding to the player's score and giving them another turn. If a line is not created then three new balls are added, with the game proceeding until the board is empty. It is straightforward enough to pick up and play, with simple rules, but requires advance planning and thinking to defeat a highly challenging AI. Although no one plays these games for their graphics, some effort have been made to introduce personality through the player characters which adorn the screen, while the clean, uncluttered interface and bright colours render the game visually appealing and easy to play. Like the best puzzle games, Color Lines is addictive and simple to learn, yet difficult to master and fans of Pipe Dreams or Wetrix are sure to adore it.