Compulsive is a slick puzzler that lives up to its name.
Puzzlers on the iOS platform are a dime a dozen, so if you plan on releasing yet another one into the wild, you need a selling point to keep your ideas fresh. Despite its relatively simple setup and user interface, Compulsive is a tricky puzzler with plenty to offer by way of addictive fun. It may be a barebones effort, but it’s slick, organized, and it knows how to eat up hours of your time.
Compulsive is a colorful block puzzler that resembles Tetris at first glance, though with much less rigid constraints. The name of the game is color matching. Multi-colored blocks will appear on-screen, and you can tap and drag them to clear out the playing field. There’s a very free feel to the way you can simply pick up parts of the puzzle and drop them where you see fit. It’s like those sliding puzzles we all had as children at one point or another, except less rigid and punishing.
Matching up groups of colored tiles is a simple, yet addictive experience. Sometimes you can spark a long-running chain that continues clearing out the game board on its own after being set into motion. A glut of red tiles explodes into attractive rainbow confetti and makes room for others to rain down. It’s a constant barrage of visuals, but it has an extremely clean aesthetic that, weirdly enough, looks excellent on your iOS device.
A timer counts down as you race to combo as many similarly-colored tiles as possible, and your scores are added to a list for posterity. Admittedly, there isn’t much to do in the app other than challenge Compulsive over and over, so the game sort of lives up to its name in some way. You’ll be returning several times over to keep improving on your previous score, pushed to go further and accomplish more each time. That’s when you know a puzzler is living up to expectations.
The clean aesthetic, soothing sounds, and repetitive (in a good way) nature of the game go hand in hand together and create a wholly enjoyable puzzler experience. For the low price of free, it’s a few good hours of tapping and dragging, and plenty of eye-popping color.