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The iPhone’s touch abilities seems like the perfect place to reimagine many of the more classic puzzle games we grew up on. Coffee table puzzles may have waned in recent years, but the memory of their passing fun still lingers in the general consciousness. Tangram Pro attempts to bring back one of these institutions, and does so rather successfully.
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The application asks the user to select a specific puzzle from one of the several puzzle packs once you open it. From here you are given a shadow of a geometric shape, often one that is inspired by an origami representation. At the bottom of the display there are two arrows that when you select brings up a menu of various puzzle pieces. By pressing on these pieces, you bring them into the work space and begin trying to arrange them in the shadow. The goal is to perfectly arrange them to fill the shadow without leaving any blank spots or covering any of the non-shaded area.
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The game itself gives you a nice place to work in. It is decorated with a classically Asian inspired background in an obvious attempt to relate the traditional nature of the game. For each puzzle pack has dozens of puzzles, which ends up giving you almost more options than you can handle.
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A Few Distractions
On occasion the provided music, a midi keyboard rendition of Enya inspired ethnic rhythms, can be a bother. Likewise, the interface has the tendency to be awkward, but once you get used to it your focus can override this. The load times when opening the game also feel a little longer than is necessary. Though each puzzle is relatively quick to finish, it still would be nice to have the option to save your progress. Your puzzle does still open, however, when you reopen the game. Other than a few slight issues with the design this game comes out as a solid activity for stolen moments, but only if you enjoy this type of puzzle to begin with. For the ripe price of “free” you have little to argue with. Seven out of ten stars.