TanZen in Review – Not just another puzzle game

tanzen-1What can I really say about TanZen, other than this is a perfect puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  There is a lite version for you try out, but beware, if you’re going to try the lite version, chances are you’re going to upgrade to the full version.

This is an updated version of the classic tangram puzzle game. Your goal is to place the 7 geometric shapes together to create the picture. There is a tutorial to explain the game mechanics but honestly, a 4 year old can quickly pick this game up.

tanzen-2So what is it that makes this game so appealing?  I have to say it’s that the simplicity and the challenge are perfectly combined together.  There are no time limits, no points… it’s just you against the puzzle.  When was the last time you played a game that didn’t have either a time limit or points?  I can’t recall either…

This game is not only highly polished, but the controls are perfectly handled on this device.  You simply tap the object you want to move, drag it to where you want to place it, and with 2 fingers, you spin the pieces around.  Almost too simple, I know.

tanzen-3Once you have completed the puzzle properly, all the shapes “jiggle” and you’re brought back to the main puzzle screen.  The puzzles you have completed will be high-lighted in your colour (3 to choose from), and the remaining ones to complete remain shaded.  As can be seen in the picture below, there are 9 puzzles per screen (3 completed here), and you’ll notice that one bar at the bottom of the screen is not fully completed.  That represents this unfinished page.  It’s a small touch but you’ll always know which puzzles you haven’t completed yet.

tanzen-4Options include hints should you get stuck, music (with a very zen vibe), and the recently added Masters Mode.  Here, this new mode just increases the difficulty.  Rather than placing the pieces into the puzzle shape, you’ll now have the outline in the top left corner and you have to recreate it without borders.  A master you must be to complete this challenge.  And in essence, this just doubles the amount of puzzles as you can now replay them all in Masters mode (if you’re brave enough).

tanzen-6Another benefit of this game, is that you do not have to complete one level to go on to the next.  All 423 puzzles are open to you from the start.  If you’re stuck on one particular puzzle, just take a break, and try another.  You’ll see that when you go back to it, you’ll have a new perspective.

There are currently 423 puzzles to be completed.  The developer, Little White Bear Studios, consistently updates and upgrades this game.  You can feel the love that was put into this game. I couldn’t recommend this game any more.


App Summary
Title: TanZen Developer: Little White Bear Studios
Price: $0.99 App Size: 4.2 mb
  • Highly Polished
  • Controls are perfect
  • Hundreds of puzzles
  • Consistently updated and upgraded
  • Honestly…I can’t come up with any


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