Infecting cells can be really relaxing.
A craving for mellow puzzlers is one of the vices I have in my life, and Sporos fits right into that genre. Not too far in experience from the excellent Splice. Where Splice demanded a bit more with limited moved, Sporos allows for far more trial and error.
Each level presents you with a grid of cells, and the object of the game is too infect them all. This might not sound as mellow, as it is. It is however more like a light up all cells kind of game, and the connection to infection is merely a way to present the gameplay. For each level you get a couple of seed, or sporos that spread differently. Some just spread horizontally, or vertically across a few lines whereas others spread in all directions. Finding the optimal placements for these sporos in the least amount of moves gives you a better star rating.
Once a sporos is placed it fills in the cells according to the spread pattern, and infected cells can’t be used to place other sporos. This gives the game a second puzzle element, as you don’t only have to fill in all the cells but also do it in the correct order. What might seem like an easy level to complete can become quite tricky due to this.
There are two game modes in the game: essential labs, and experimental labs. The essential labs comes with 300 levels. You only need to place ordinary sporos in the essential labs. This is far easier than the experimental labs that comes with mutated sporos on the board. These can shift spread patterns significantly, and forces an extra puzzle element. I found myself having to resort to using the in game hint system just to get an understanding of how the sporos behave.
The presentation is done in a crisp neon style that feels fresh. There isn’t anything that stands out, and I would have liked some movement to the sporos to make them feel biological. Now they could just as well have been light sources.
The strength of Sporos is the sheer number of levels available. With 500 levels it will take quite some time to beat them all, and if you are a three star rating junkie you get even more time out of it.
Sporos doesn’t do much new that I haven’t seen before, but it packs and presents the puzzles in a polished fashion. A great puzzler for relaxing in bed, or picking up for just a few minutes while waiting on the bus. Try the lite version first to get a feel for it.
Sporos $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod