Have you ever played an old-school ball-in-a-maze puzzle where you had this wooden or plastic board with a built-in labyrinth and a tiny ball inside it?
Your aim usually was to lean the board in different directions to make the ball roll along the maze walls and eventually move it to the exit. It was a trendy toy back in the 80s, and now those children who used to love it so much in their childhood decided to create virtual alternatives for their own kids to have as much fun as they once did.
One of the decent games in this category is Tenkyu developed by Voodoo – a well-known mobile game company. Tenkyu does really look like a retro game, as the main gameplay is set in a minimalistic 3D environment. You have a platform hanging freely in the air, and there is a hole in it. A small ball is located on top of this platform, and you need to swipe the platform to make it bend in various directions and let the ball roll towards the hole. To make the hole more visible for a player, the developers have designed a small flag standing close to it, which makes it look a lot like golf. Once your ball falls into the hole, it drops down to the next platform of a different shape, representing the beginning of a new level.
The game contains 30 stages with a definite number of levels. While it could be more obvious to have the levels grow steadily in difficulty – from the easiest one to the most challenging one – here you need to deal with a randomly changing sequence of simple and difficult levels. As a result, you may find yourself struggling for hours through the 20th level, but the 30th level, on the other hand, can be completed in pure seconds. Many users found this level system quite annoying, but at the same time; it adds a lot to players’ motivation to beat the game at all costs. By the way, there are exactly 999 levels, so don’t expect to play this game forever.
Manipulating the platform can become pretty challenging at times. Your main control is your finger, and it’s namely the way you swipe it and the speed with which you swipe it that affects the ball’s movement. If you bend the platform too much, the ball can fall off of it, leading you to automatically lose the level. Sometimes platforms can be split into two parts and stand away from each other at a certain distance, so you will need to use moving additional constructions to get from one part to the other. The platform surface is not always flat, more often it can have deepenings, small hills, and even stairs, to harden your ball’s movement.
As you progress through the game, you will be unlocking new skins that you can later use to diversify your gaming environment. On every platform, you will also find and collect diamonds that are considered to be local in-game coins. It’s not clear however what you can buy for them except more sophisticated skins for your collection.
Tenkyu has become a real hit, although quite controversial one. On the one hand, it offers a unique nostalgic experience while at the same time testing your dexterity skills. On the other hand, however, it will be always distracting you by intrusive ads, making you want to delete the game completely. However, the developer’s team offers a pretty decent ad-free version of the game for just $2.99. Overall, Tenkyu is a very relaxing and yet challenging game that is entirely worth your time.