What is it?
Expand It is a puzzle game that uses “creatures” that look like triangles, circles, and squares to get to dino-nirvana. The graphics are simple and clean without being flat or lifeless. The puzzles are timed so figuring out the pattern and executing it quickly will earn you a better score.
The background music is pleasant and up-beat, and the game play is easy enough for the young ones and entertaining enough to while away some time for the adults as well. The warm up in the first few levels is pretty slow, so the younger set shouldn’t get discouraged.
How does it work?
The object of the game is to get one of the shape creatures at or above the rainbow line near the top of the screen. Once your creature is touching the rainbow line, he enters a blessed-out trance state that his fellow shapes share. It’s a bit like a bunch of prehistoric Rastafarians “finding religion,” but, from a child’s perspective, it is cute.
Stack the shapes, roll them uphill, catapult them onto ledges; however you need to gain elevation, the game will provide a way if you can figure out the correct sequence of events. Tap the right shape at the right time to increase its size and it will touch the rainbow and get seriously happy. Your shape creature will need to maintain contact for a few seconds, so be sure it is in a position to maintain contact.
It will be worth it to note some levels will require the destruction of one or more of your shape friends to clear the way and achieve the goal. The game will provide sharp edges (with floating skulls to indicate their lethality) to poke the shapes. Some of the sharps are needed to clear a path; others are just another obstacle to avoid.
Is it contagious?
Expand It is pretty simple but entertaining (especially for the kids). There are four environments (with more coming) and fifteen levels per environment, so there is plenty of play time. There is a “restart level” button in the upper right corner so you don’t have to wait for the game to register a total failure to start again. This is handy if you slip and tap something you know you aren’t ready for. (What? That never happens!)
The only negative is that the “tutorial” is a couple of pictures that assume you will understand everything you need to know from minimal visual information. On the whole, it’s inexpensive and fun, so don’t be afraid of these “dinos.”