Game Reviews

Puzzles with a German Flair – Part 1: Reiner Knizia’s ClusterMaster

This post is one of two articles which covers one of my favorite types of games to play on my Android phone, puzzle games. The reason I like puzzle games so much is that they can test your mental (and sometimes your physical) prowess, plus they usually are easy to pick and put down, so you can play them almost anywhere and anytime.

Title: ClusterMaster | Developer: Tribeflame | Genre: Brain & Puzzle| Players: 1 | Version: 1.2.2a | Size: 16 MB | Price: Free |

The two puzzles I am going to cover are by the German game designer, Reiner Knizia. If you are familiar with German style board games, then his name should be very familiar. If not, check out his website, to learn more. Many of his board games have been ported to iOS and now they are making their way to Android.

ClusterMaster is a fun game that really does not take very long to learn but will take some time to master.  The premise is simple, fit the hexagons to build clusters of the same color within the playing area. Creating larger clusters will give you more points. Within the game, there are 4 different game modes not including the tutorial which is not really a level but is available to help you learn the game mechanics.

– Stress: Here you simply race against the clock.
– Quest: There are no time restriction here, but as the clusters sizes get larger, the game gets harder. You will start off with trying to create clusters of 3.
– Time Battle: Another race again clock, but in this mode you are working to progress to next level. You will start off with trying to create clusters of 5.
– Endless: As the name implies, no time restriction. You will start off with trying to create clusters of 3.

The mode I have played the most is Stress. It seems to be the quickest game for me and I enjoy racing against the clock.

The game controls are very simple and straightforward. A group of multi-colored hexagons will appear at the bottom of the screen. You can swipe or tap on the arrows near them to rotate them. Once you have the rotation you want, you drag them up to the playing board and tap them into place. In some playing modes, you will be given individual hexagons of each color. These can be used to fill in gaps in the board where the larger clusters would not fit.  The challenge in the game comes in trying to figure out quickly where to put and how you should rotate the random cluster given to you. Sometimes it is comes quickly, others not so. There is always room to improve when playing ClusterMaster.

Some other general aspects of game:

– Nice space theme background
– Can toggle sound/music on/off
– 3 main colors of tiles
– High scores saved per mode and can be reset
– Ability to pause and save games
– Does not have the ability to have multiple profiles
– Probably the biggest aspect, the game is free and NO ADS

As I mentioned in the beginning, ClusterMaster is very easy to pick up and play anytime. Being able to pause the game and come back to it, is a great feature. I would love to see multiple profiles but…The video below, provides a great overview of the game. So if you like puzzle games, you should like ClusterMaster. Since the game is totally free and has no ads, I recommend you give it a try. In part 2 of this series, I will cover the puzzle game Ingenious.

 

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