I was first drawn to Arabiah by its appearance where even at the title screen, the player is treated to a beautiful graphic of a swinging lantern whose glowing light sways back and forth. You can even rub the lamp – but don’t let the peacefulness of the title screen fool you – Arabiah is a fast paced, but ultimately, very casual-friendly puzzle game.
From the option menu, you have a choice of three different difficulty settings, easy, medium and hard. Easy is almost too easy, and yet it’s the perfect way for any new player to begin, as it’s slower pace eases you into Arabiah’s gameplay. The game is a little like a cross between a slot machine and a matching game. There are four rows of symbols that slide across the screen at different speeds. Think of these rows as the face of a cylinder, so that eventually, the symbols that have slid past on the right will appear again on the left. It’s your job to match the symbols which is accomplished by touching one from the column on the left and dragging it to the rows on the right. Open symbols which you still must match are shown as etchings, while symbols you have matched are colored (Cleared rows are shown in gold). There are ten symbols to each row for a total of forty symbols that need to be matched to clear a level.
Sometimes you’ll be given four symbols in your column that you cannot use, at which point you touch the arrow-like symbol beneath the column and new Arabic symbols will be given to you. But you want to avoid this if you can, because the more matches you make without clearing the column and asking for new symbols, the more likely you are to start making chains and receiving bonuses.
The first bonus comes in the form of a glowing symbol, that once matched, accrues a gem to add to your score. As you keep matching perfectly (meaning no mistakes) more and more glowing symbols will appear and again, more gems, ultimately leading to higher and higher scores. Meanwhile, at all times, you are fighting against the clock, to clear the level before the sands of time fill completely (as shown on the lower right side of the screen).
Medium difficulty is where I found I played the most, as this setting seemed to be just the right amount of challenge; whereas hard mode has an insanely fast timer, which I found I just could not compete against. There is just enough variety between symbols that you can be fooled into grabbing one when you meant to go for another, and the as the levels progress, the game challenges you with more and more similar-looking Arabic symbols. But ultimately, it’s not the match that will end your game. Should you select a symbol you can’t use you can clear it the same way you clear the column, by pressing that down arrow. What will end your game is not being able to complete all of the matches before that timer runs out. This is one of those games that cannot be beaten, all you can do is strive to achieve a higher score.
The good news of course is, there is a Leaderboard, so you can see how you stack up not only against everyone in the world, but also just against the people in your own country. You can also check out your achievements (like how many ‘perfect’ levels you managed, what your accuracy in placing symbols is, etc.). Arabiah is a good puzzle game: a simple set up with an interesting premise and a nice graphical interface. It’s very different from most any other puzzle game I’ve played so far, and I’d definitely suggest you Grab It.
|Price:||$2.99||App Size:||9.7 MB|
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