With over a thousand different games having hit the App Store in less time than it takes to grow a Chia Pet, finding your way to the good stuff is a real challenge. Ducking and weaving through the maze of inscrutable and often questionable games is exhausting enough to make cultivating one of those cheap little plants seem more entertaining, as well.
It's only when you stumble upon a game like Labyrinth that the effort is rewarded.
Labyrinth is the recreation of the kind of balsa wood maze you might have been forced to make back in woodwork at secondary school - only it's a maze that is constantly changing. Your job is to guide a small metal ball from a starting point on one side to a goal (usually) on the other side. Successful manipulation of the ball requires you to start off holding the iPhone horizontally, tipping it in any direction you like to get the ball rolling, as it were.
Coupled by some startlingly realistic sound effects, getting from start to finish is made more difficult by the small potholes dotted around each map. Let your ball fall into one of these holes, and you have to start again from the beginning. If that sounds stupidly simple, then you're be mistaken, as even some of the relatively easy maps have more holes in them than a piece of Swiss cheese.
The sheer variety of maps is amazing, with over 500 levels stitched together in different packs drafted by the community. Of course, this prompts the promise of user-generated content to be available on a whim. The ability to create stages and then upload the to a central server for others to download is a compelling feature. Labyrinth could be the kind of game that stays firmly on iPhones around the globe for months, maybe years, to come as a result.
Of course, all the excellent level design in the world would fall apart if it wasn't for the game's solid application of its controls, perfectly matching the pace of the ball with the angle you tilt the phone. Minutes into your first dip into Labyrinth, you're altering your ball's progress with just the faintest of tilts, manipulating that metal sphere with an almost instinctive mixture of deft touches and violent moves. Indeed, there is no one strategy that can be applied to each and every map on offer - some require pace, some patience, and most a mixture of the two.
But Labyrinth could never be described as easy, and some of the more challenging levels seem nigh impossible on first inspection. It's a testament to the creativity of those who have come up with these initial levels that such a short range of variables can result in such a vast array of different maps, and by including its customers and fans in its future, Codify AB has made sure that this is one ball that will keep on rolling for some time to come.