Ratio is less of a board game and more of a puzzle game, however with the advent of iPad technology the lines do become increasingly blurred. It is for these reasons that I think an inclusive approach to board gaming will better serve us than exclusive (That being said, we try not to review games that are to derivative of another person’s IP, or based on a classic board game).
The principles of the game are exceptionally simple – get the two coloured stones on either side of a grid of 3 x 2 into their opposite space. This can only be accomplished through a series of moves that navigate the stones around a series of pins that are places on the vertices of these grids.
The rules are that a stone can only move orthogonally if in doing so it passes one pin. No pins on either vertices, or a pin on both will prevent movement in that direction. However, in moving a stone that pin will transverse from one corner to its opposite along the line the stone moved. Yes, that is a lot of conditionals and circuitous explanations, but once you see it in action it is quite obvious what I mean.
However, the nature of this game means that you have to puzzle out how your immediate actions will affect later actions as the movement options unfold and reconfigure as you manipulate the stones. It is possible to be able to anticipate all those permutations but it lies beyond the realm of most mortal minds. For those like myself who are weak and human (dammit, where’s my cyborg brain) one must resort to a bit of trial and error.
The game plays across a series of increasingly challenging set ups. No doubt taking it all the way to the end is an exercise in logic.
Though this game was clearly designed for the iOS it could have been designed as a physical game. However, considering the cost of producing physical games and the absolute competition of that market this is undoubtedly the smarter choice for sharing the game. I don’t know if this game would have that much popularity in the physical, but for a dollar it can compete alongside many other casual games.
Ultimately, that is what this game is – a casual board game. Do not expect a depth of challenge or complexity of play, but naturally that will make it more accessible to a larger audience, including children. Whether your child enjoys the simple aesthetics or have the focus required to puzzle it out is the variable I can’t anticipate.
5/10: Deceptively simple, the game can draw you in. I don’t know if it has a high level of replay value though.Ratio,