There is a certain primitive joy that comes with handling yarn. Knitters understand this feeling. So do cats.
Now Chillingo wants you to make a little yarn art with Find the Line, a puzzle game that's all about pulling some strings.
Here's a real yarn
Each level in Find the Line starts by presenting you with one or more objects made of "string." By selecting an item and manipulating a moving bar at the bottom of the screen, you can unravel these objects, study the seemingly random shapes they make, and put them back together as a totally new object.
It's not difficult to successfully complete a level of Find the Line. Basically, playing around with the moving bar will eventually get you where you need to be, though a bit of creative thinking and foresight never hurts.
Later puzzles also drop clever hints about what you're supposed to be making. For instance, as you play around with three teabags that are meant to form a teapot, you may notice the strings form small, related pictures of teacups to help nudge you in the right direction.
These hints make the game even easier, but Find the Line isn't meant to make you sweat. Its wonderfully simplistic graphics and soothing soundtrack indicate the game exists to help you chill out after a hard day.
It's therefore pretty unfortunate that Chillingo opted to monetise Find the Line with a loud and invasive free to play system.
There's nothing wrong with ads and other free to play trappings as long as they're implemented well - preferably seamlessly.
Find the Line's monetisation mechanics rip through your gameplay session like a Mac truck through a tea ceremony. Every time you finish a puzzle, your satisfaction and calm aura are shattered by a long and loud video ad.
Look, Chillingo, I'm well aware that Clash of Clans exists, and the game certainly has its own merits, but if I'm playing a game like Find the Line, chances are I don't want to be interrupted by an advertisement full of screaming barbarians.
At the time of writing, there isn't even an option to pay and make the ads go away.
Take the hint
Find the Line also lets you buy hint packs that nudge you in the right direction if you're having a hard time pulling a sensible picture out of the yarn.
You begin with several freebies that let you preview the level's name (thereby cluing you into what you're supposed to be making), or positions one string in its correct place.
This method of monetisation is far less intrusive than the loud advertisements, but it still comes across as a little odd. If there was ever a game that should let players chip in a couple of dollars and be left alone to play, Find the Line is it.
Though its advertisements are unfortunate, Find the Line is still a unique and relaxing puzzle experience. If you can grit your teeth and push through the bombardment, you'll find a pretty charming game here.