March 14, 2011 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] McKinney, Texas - Athena's Tiles, an edge-match puzzle from Sphere & Cylinder LLC, is now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. It is open to players with color vision or manual dexterity issues, and those who cannot read or use numbers. The app can play itself showing the moves to a solution. Puzzles are solved at the player's pace. There is no competition with other players and no time pressure. The twenty-six levels each have an unlimited number of games. Difficulty goes from preschool to adult.
Athena's Tiles is very simple to play yet calls upon high level thinking skills much like chess. It feels like a game, not "educational software". The player is slowly drawn into deep concentration and logical thinking without realizing it. The increase in difficulty from level to level is very smooth, hardly noticeable. The game has only one rule, to match puzzle pieces based on the symbols on their edges. Twelve symbol sets are provided allowing a player to work with abstract figures, numbers, or letters in different alphabets.
The game has 26 levels using four piece, nine piece, and sixteen piece puzzles. There are an unlimited number of games at each level. One never has to play the same game twice. Every game has a solution. It may not seem like it, but tapping the surrender button will move from the current board position to a solution, every time. There is no competition with other players. This is a deliberate design feature to make the game less intimidating. A move counter and timer are included for feedback, but there is no limit on moves or time to finish a game.
There is even a button, the surrender button, where the game plays itself and the player can see each move towards a solution. The company has provided in-game help as well as a tutorial video on YouTube, but most players don't seem to need these. The basic iPhone gestures of tap and drag with a single finger are all that are used. Arthritis, color blindness, partial paralysis, slow reaction time, educational level, or memory loss are not barriers to playing this game. Nor is it necessary to be able to read English.
Athena's Tiles is designed for iPhone with Retina display and rewritten as a native iPad app. It loads in less than five seconds. It is quite small making minimal use of the limited memory in mobile devices. When a game is interrupted for any reason, when it is relaunched it returns to the exact game position it left. It senses the orientation of the device and rotates the display as needed. One can switch from portrait to landscape and back again as often as desired during a game.
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iPhone OS 3.2 or later
* 1.1 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Athena's Tiles 2.0 is $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) a free lite version is also available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.
Located in McKinney, TX, Sphere & Cylinder was founded in 2009 by Gill Winograd. Mr. Winograd has both an Honors BA and an MBA from the University of Chicago where he also worked as a programmer. His subsequent career was spent consulting to many different industries primarily in applying IT and Statistics to identifying and exploiting marketing opportunities, domestically and internationally. After retiring from the world of commerce, he spent several years teaching high school students Mathematics, Social Studies, and Spanish. He founded Sphere & Cylinder to provide entertaining apps for mobile devices that would combat the modern ill of shortening attention spans that he saw both in our schools and workplaces. He built the company around his conviction that both children and adults can have fun using computers to strengthen, rather than weaken, the ability to concentrate at length to reason with logic, read serious texts, and use math in their everyday lives. The company targets all ages, from preschoolers to the elderly looking for convenient ways to stay sharp. Copyright (C) 2011 Sphere & Cylinder. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.