rop Review: Chill or be Chilled

Mobile puzzle games are an interesting genre because every time I feel like I've seen it all, some clever person thinking up a new twist and before long a whole new subgenre is born. I hope that is the case for rop an zen "untangling" puzzler from MildMania. The objective of rop is simple: make the shape you see on the screen. After the first few level though, you'll start to find that this "simple" objective can be anything but.

Mindbendingly Chill

There really aren't any direct comparisons you can make to rop, but it does remind me a little of Shadowmatic and Lost Toys in the way it plays with dimensions. Where those games give you vividly rendered 3D to ponder, rop choose the exact opposite - bold black lines and hexagonal vertices. The simplicity really works, and it is honed to a level of zenlike purity that makes the game really relaxing when you've got some time to kill and you want to do a bit of puzzling. The sound and ambiance are excellent, and even the subtle level transitions are well polished. Occasionally I accidentally place a vertex on top of another (this is not allowed) and the resounding "gong" is so jarring to the chill that has enveloped me at that point that it feels like a punch in the gut. Needless to say, I avoid doing that.

Brawn Over Brain

The only real downside I see to rop is really a personal failing. Although I love puzzlers, I think I reach a certain point in the difficult tree of most of them where I just can't keep up. rop is no exception, as it gets harder and harder to imagine the shape of the thing you are manipulating and conceive of how to get it to "pretend" to be the target shape. Eventually, I often resort to some brute force tactics that usually eventually work, but in the end I feel a bit like I cheated. It is hard to fault the game for my own lack of genius, but it would be great if somehow rop or some future successor could help me better visualize the tangled beast I'm trying to tame.

Overall rop is a one-of-a-kind super chill puzzler that you can spend hours with, and is well worth checking out.