This is a great time to be a gamer if you like having your hand held. Games these days leave nothing to chance, bombarding you with tutorials and hints and messages of encouragement until there’s almost no chance of you having to think for yourself.
If you’re made of sterner stuff than most, however, you may want to check out Hot Lines. There’s no tutorial to be found here, and certainly no messages of encouragement. There isn’t even a menu – just you and some stark black lines.
It’s your job to remove these lines from the screen by tapping on them. You can’t just jab them willy nilly, however. You can only clear them in a particular sequence, and you have to work out what that sequence is through careful deduction.
It’s all about working out what the rules are, but throughout the game’s 60 levels new rules are introduced constantly, so you have to stay frosty from beginning to end.
Hot Lines is our kind of game. It’s totally original, which makes a welcome change from the countless clones we have to wade through every week.
And it provides a very welcome challenge. Not only does Hot Lines do without a tutorial, but it punishes every wrong move by making you start that stage over again, encouraging you to think ahead and pay close attention.
Hot Lines is refreshingly open. While the stages are arranged in a particular sequence, with the simplest at the beginning and new mechanics introduced as you progress, you can skip ahead whenever you feel like ramping up the challenge.
If you’ve ever found yourself getting tired of the endless match-three puzzlers and samey word games on Google Play and the App Store, we recommend giving Hot Lines a try. It’s a total original, and you can pick it up right now for just £1.99.