The Mesh is a slick and engaging mashing together of puzzler ideas. It's partly a maths test, partly a number slider, and partly a frantic race against a bomb or the dark.
The levels are neat number puzzles, the graphics are minimalist, and there's a new twist thrown in every now and then to make sure you're never resting on your laurels.Numberwang
Each round you're given a number to chase, and a number of tiles to chase it with. The tiles also have numbers on them. It's all numbers, really.
Sliding tiles of the same colour into one another adds them together. Double tap on a tile and it'll change colour. Slide differently coloured tiles into one another and the lowest number will be subtracted from the highest. And if they're the same number they'll disappear.
If there are any numbers left once you've combined and matched, then that number of spaces is taken away from your grid, making the next levels that much harder. You can replace the grid spaces with successful matches later in the game.
After the first few levels you'll get spaces on the grid which will multiply or divide the number you drop onto them. And ones that'll pop out a random integer as well.
Then there's darkness mode. Here you only get to see what you're doing when you push a finger onto the grid. But time ticks down whenever the lights go on, and once it's out all the numbers remaining are taken from your grid.
There's a similar bomb mode, which gives you a set amount of time from when you tap to start, and strips away huge chunks of your grid if and when you mess up.
Bump and slide
And it all blends together to make a surprisingly intoxicating concoction. It's fresh and familiar at the same time, and the simple mechanics hide a good deal of depth to the tile-sliding and number-crunching.
Sometimes it can feel like every puzzler on the App Store is a match-stuff free to play slog. The Mesh is the direct opposite of that, and it'll have you scratching your head in all the right ways for weeks.