Ichi promises to be a fun mobile brainteaser with simple gameplay but a deceiving depth

The best mobile games are the ones that sneak up on you. They look simple or uninspired at first glance, but before you know it you’ve finished half the levels, your battery is dying, and all you want to do is keep playing. Ichi has that look about it; it’s a one-button puzzler that anyone with a finger can play, but it appears that it may have a lot more in store than first meets the eye.

The concept is a simple one. Launch a beam, then touch the screen to rotate virtual “mirrors” that bounce it off walls and into targets. Easy, right? Probably not, as levels will come in a variety of oddball layouts and feature various obstacles like teleporters, breakable blocks, static reflectors and walls that will absorb rather than bounce the beam. Easy to understand, easy to play – but not so easy to figure out.

Ichi has a visual vibe that reminds me of the great Crayon Physics, which is to say basic but functional and even artistic in its own way, and a catchy backbeat will help keep things hopping. More important is the easy-to-use level editor that will be included with the game to ensure a nearly endless supply of challenge.

This one looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially in short bursts – fire it up, rattle off a level or two [or spend a few minutes trying to figure out what you're missing] and then move on with your day. Ichi is being developed for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, and does not yet have a release date.