Symbolism…a game of strategy, logic and patience all in one

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle

I picked up Symbolism a few months ago and spent that time getting immersed in this terrific game.  Symbolism is easy to learn but difficult to master, and it took me hours to get through level 1.  The objective of each level is not simply to clear rows or columns…that’s just the means to an end.  Your job is to turn every gray square into a yellow one before you run out of spaces to place tiles.  You’re randomly given a tile that has a colored symbol on it, and the objective is to place it on the board either next to one that has a similar symbol or with a matching color.  You also have the random gray block which you can place anywhere and are useful because you can place any kind of tile around it.  There’s also the random yellow square which enables you to clear out any existing tile…nice for cleaning up a mistake.  Every row you complete disappears and turns the square yellow.  The little rules that you have to keep in mind is what makes Symbolism intellectually challenging.  Of course, you also get three chances to discard any random tile that appears.  For every tile you place, you gain another tile throwaway up to three.  If you’re smart enough, you learn to be strategic about you use them and then gain them back.

Something that I’ve learned is that you should clear a row as you as you can, and then alternate columns which gives you room to work.  Also, when you get a gray tile, avoid placing it in the corners unless it helps you clear out a row right away.  If you position them right, you can place any colored symbol tile next to them, buying you time.  The dev has done a great job in creating a smooth and graphically pleasing interface that isn’t overwhelming (nor should it be).

Online scoring, the addition of a timed mode (which only adds to the challenge), and now an in-game store where you can buy tiles based on points accumulated just puts the finishing touch on an already terrific game.

Too often, puzzle/logic games can be difficult or frustrating to play or learn.  That’s not the case with Symbolism, and you’ll find it a great choice when you’re looking for some mindful gameplay.

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