Sometimes, I just wanna play a chill puzzle game. No frantic clicking, no obnoxious pinging, no screaming children–just untimed puzzle solving and calm colors. LYNE is an indie game from Thomas Bowker, and it’s available on Steam, Android, and iOS. It sports a minimalist design and a soothing color palette of soft pastels. I downloaded it a couple of years ago and often lose myself in it for hours.
Like most good puzzle games, LYNE is built around a simple concept: connect shapes in lines that do not cross, and weave through the pattern while making sure that no shape is left out. In the words of the developer, LYNE is “infinitely complex.”
The puzzles start out very easy–connect a few shapes in a line–but quickly become 3×5+ grids of polygons of many shapes and colors. There’s no background music, really, just some ambient tones that fade in and out, harmonizing with the pan flute notes the shapes play as you connect them. It’s surprisingly immersive. The sounds evoke the same feelings for me as Hoenn’s Dive music–a sense of inner peace and calm.
The first rule that governs LYNE’s puzzles is that polygons of the same color and shape must all be connected, and lines cannot cross over each other. That’s it. As the puzzles become more difficult, there’s rarely a sense of frustration. Every time you attempt to create a path, you’re treated to flute notes reminiscent of Ocarina of Time. There’s no punishment for failure. It’s just you, hanging out and peacefully coexisting with the shapes.
The PC edition of LYNE comes with 650 built-in levels, as well as daily challenges. Considering that the game costs a modest $2.99, you’re getting a sizable chunk of puzzles for your money. I own it on Steam already, but I’m thinking about picking it up on Android so I can play LYNE on the go.
If you’re prone to raging in allchat, I highly recommend picking up Lyne and letting the shapes and soft colors zen you out. Take a Lyne break to help fend off tilting.
Tom Haverford gets it.