Glow Artisan is a great buy for puzzle lovers and puzzle makers
Glow Artisan is a really fantastic name for a puzzle game that revolves around using primary colors to create secondary colors in particular patterns. At the beginning of every stage you’re shown a graph with different blocks, each filled in with different colors. Your task is to use a color palette of red, blue and yellow to combine them into greens, purples and more in an effort to match the picture given in as few moves as possible.
The game starts out easy enough, not really having to combine colors at all just to give you the idea of how you draw out colors onto the graph. Slowly but surely secondary colors start showing up, and the order and color choice you paint starts to become vital to the process. It’s about that time that Glow Artisan really starts to ooze that puzzle game feel.
The game rewards patience and planning ahead, two of my favorite traits when it comes to puzzle games. I love thinking 3,4,5,10 steps ahead… seeing the moves unfold in the future until I reach the end. Then I just step it back and go through it one by one in-game to make that planning a reality. It’s the same feeling you get playing Tetris and planning for that big score, and feels great when you can pull it off.
Glow Artisan was originally released as a downloadable game on the Nintendo DSi, which makes total sense since the touch interface feels completely natural and is the best way to interact with the game. Drawing lines with your finger (or stylus) is intuitive and gives the game a really nice feel in a genre where something like that usually doesn’t come in to play.
The game boasts over 100 puzzles in the base game, but to provide virtually unlimited replayability there a randomizer mode where you choose the size of the grid you want to work with and the game whips up a random puzzle for you. This mode means even if you’ve beat everything in the game there’s always going to be some fresh puzzles for you to solve.
To take that replay value even further, Glow Artisan lets you create your own levels. You can draw out lines of color to make the puzzle, use a picture from your photo album, or even take a photo with the camera and make a puzzle out of it. After selecting your image you can choose grid size, brightness, contrast and individual colors, and it builds an abstraction of the picture in color block form. It’s an awesome editor that’s super fun to play around with.
I enjoy the Glow Artisan‘s main twist of having to combine and cross different colors. It was also the crux of the Tetris-inspired game Love Love, and I found it incredibly fun there as well. This isn’t something we see often, so it still rings as unique – not something that’s easy to accomplish these days on the iPhone. Glow Artisan is a fantastic value for puzzle fans, especially when you’re playing the roles of both puzzle solver and puzzle creator.