Marvin’s World: Tapestry

This is a rather belated announcement but perhaps not so much considering my case. I have a new phone. Yes, I have finally joined the ranks of smartphone owners. Bypassing the Apple fad (yes, yes, I know their products are superior, I just don’t have the moolah, okay?), I’ve gone the Google route. The new phone is a Samsung Android Galaxy Pop and has been duly christened Marvin (the Paranoid Android, you philistines!).

First of all, I don’t want to hear how this model sucks and every other brand, technology or model surpasses this one. Technology is expensive, gadgetry soon obsolete and aΒ  mobilephone is an extremely personal device. I pondered this decision for nearly six months before finally buying it. Nobody gains anything from running down my final choice (except competition brand sellers)…why do people do that anyway?

Secondly, the phone has now been in use for a little over a month which I know doesn’t qualify it for ‘new’ in the gadget-slutty (easy come, easy go) world I inhabit. But I’ve never used a mobilephone for less than two years at a time. It’s not about how ‘in’ the device is, it is about how long and how well it fulfils your requirements. A mobilephone is the one gadget that is with you at almost all times. A month isn’t very long to get used to the feel and controls of a new phone.

And now cribbing aside, I’ll tell you about the phone. I was thrilled to discover how much more I could do online using this phone. First stop, the Social Hub – synchronizing Gtalk contacts, Facebook calendar, Twitter accounts and email.

Then I discovered the Android Market and its wonderous delights. Since Marvin went online, I’ve downloaded a number of apps, all free. Now I’m like those thousands of annoying people who’s more interested in their phones than the outside world. At least, I try and keep mine on silent when I’m in a public place (don’t you want to sometimes strangle people who’re constantly going beep-beep-beeeeeeep! in public??!).

Games caught my fancy which made me realize, contrary to what I tell the boy, I do have a gamer in me too. I lean to strategy & empire management games rather than the dishoom-dishoom ‘boy’ stuff.

Chess was my first stop but having passed on that useful tip to my checkmating dad, I moved on. Sudoku was duly loaded and played. By the way, I discovered a puzzle called Tapestry. Tapestry gives you a grid of empty squares with a sequence of numbers for each row and column. The sequence tells you how many and in what order squares need to be filled in, emptied or left alone. When the puzzle is solved, it shows a tapestry-like picture.

I struggled a bit initially when an accidental touch would shade or empty a square inadvertently. But this may just have been the teething troubles of a touchscreen newbie. The game also gets a little harder to play at the higher levels since you have to keep scrolling left-right and up-down. Bearing in mind that this is a game of a full pattern, it is difficult to focus on specific areas at a time. When a row or column have been completed, a green check or a red cross indicate if the sequence has been followed. But these indicators don’t show properly for the top row.

Even with all these glitches, the basic nature of Tapestry is compelling. With time, one figures out certain obvious things. For example, a sequence that contains a high number of coloured squares (8 in a 10×10 grid) will occupy aΒ  section in the middle of the grid, no matter how it is placed. These tend to be the building points of the more complicated Tapestry patterns. The puzzle is just easy enough to allow you a few early wins in completed sequences and then tricky enough mid-way that you might spend hours trying to figure out the correct sequences to finish the game.

The game takes awhile to start up, from the opening screen to the options menu where you can pick grid size. The puzzle itself doesn’t take long to load. Quitting the game mid-way saves the game and opens it to that same position when you return. This makes it an ideal game for when you’re travelling or waiting and may need to shut out/return quickly.

Tapestry is owned by VIRlogic and available for free download on Android.

* A version is posted to Yahoo! Real Beauty Recommendations.

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