ZenBound showed us that games don’t necessarily need to bring us a challenge or adrenaline pumping gameplay, that creating a experience…a tranquil experience is just as fulfilling. Games of this quality are rare. Once again we are transported to a peaceful state with qbcodes’ release of nulis.
At nulis’s core is a puzzle game with right and wrong solutions, however that’s not exactly the point of it. The sedate experience allows you to think for yourself by including various solutions to each puzzle. How you solve each puzzle is by combining and splitting particles over and over again. If you combine two white particles together and a black particle hits it, the white particle will split back into two, along with the single black particle breaking into two (so one more black particle on the screen).
In order to successfully complete each level you’ll need to match 3 same colored particles to make them explode along with making sure that no single particle remains. The later stages will include new particles that’ll vary from the others. One particle needs to eat other particles (well that’s my non-scientific explanation) to become a regular particle. Another new particle will magnetically repel all other particles. So you can see that the introduction of new particles brings more challenge. As I write this, all this particle splitting may sound dull, but nulis is anything but. After all this is a tranquil thinking (wo)man’s game.
Expanding on the tranquility of nulis is the pacing of each level, in fact you have complete command of the pacing. This is done with the interesting control scheme that has you either touching the screen with a single finger to attract particles towards your fingers, or two fingers to repel. While this took me a while to fully understand how to successfully maneuver particles, I’m now a master-particle maneuverer. If you crave chaos just move particles faster on the screen and surely enough they will be bouncing off each other causing onscreen havoc. Or you can play it cool and slowly move particles around. You decide what kind of experience you want.
Besides pampering me with a relaxing experience, it also soothes the eyes with its smooth graphics that takes advantage of the new iPad’s (G3) retina display. We also tried nulis on older devices including the first iPad and it still looks nice, but it won’t have that same crispness. So if you find yourself with a new iPad we highly recommend nulis for its beauty alone.
The Bottom Line: 9.0
I know nulis will not be for everyone, but those looking to enter a meditative-like state will instantly fall in love and spend numerous hours splitting and combining particles.