With the sheer number of games on the App Store, it’s rare in this day and age to find a truly novel title. For this reason, it’s even more exciting when you do.
Today, Blackbox landed on the App Store. It is an undeniably unique puzzler that — unlike any other game I have played — sees you solving each level without the use of the touchscreen. In fact, Blackbox requires you to use just about every sensor of your iPhone other than the screen.
“Our phones are brimming with advanced sensors and they’re crying out to be used for something other than simulating a steering wheel or rotating a YouTube video,” says developer Ryan McLeod. “Few games break the fourth glass wall and when they do, do so timidly.”
Blackbox eases you in to the game with a quick tutorial — the character and wit of which alludes to the frustrations that lie ahead. After this, you are left to work your way through a grid of puzzles, each requiring you to use a different aspect of your iPhone to solve. I won’t spoil it (because most of the fun is in the satisfaction of solving these puzzles yourself) but expect to use every aspect of your device.
The game is tough and sometimes maddening, so much so you’ll find yourself wanting to throw your device across the room at times. But you’ll keep coming back to it, which is the real beauty of Blackbox. I’ve made my way though about half of the puzzles in a couple of days of testing, but a number of them have bamboozled me or require me to come back at a later time (you’ll figure out why once you begin playing). There’s a cryptic hint system should you get stuck, and a few are granted for free (with more available for purchase in-app should you wish). There’s one expansion pack already available for $0.99 during the launch period bringing a number of extra levels, and McLeod is working on bringing even more to the game in future.
If you’re into iPhone puzzle games, Blackbox really is is a must-download. It’s refreshingly different, truly unique and delightfully frustrating. Check it out on the App Store where it is available for free.