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Review: Runik brings tile matching madness to Android

I’m a big fan of puzzle games on my phone for two reasons: usually they’re quite easy to pick up, and they tend to be easy on my aging Droid’s poor processor. Accessibility is key for Android games, and puzzlers seem to be one of the few genres that can benefit from touchscreen controls.

Runik’s a great example; this new game comes to us from team SoFresh and has the distinction of being a purely Android game. I give this props because there seems to be way too many “port of an iOS” titles these days.

Runik’s simple: it throws a “match 3 or more” formula at you, which is extremely easy to pick up. Players start with a full board of runes and match until no combinations remain. The only thing shifting the tiles is the force of gravity, so it pays to think steps ahead before you break especially big chains.

Once combinations are exhausted, the leftovers turn to stone; any tiles cleared next to these stone pieces, however, become active again. If played unwisely, this can lead to a very limited playing space. Play continues until there are literally no more moves, but I haven’t reached this yet. As you clear runes of a color, meters at the bottom for each color fill. When topped up, they provide a score bonus for that color, and when activated, clear all the tiles of that type. This leads to a very strategic usage: you don’t want to waste that score bonus with few tiles on the field.

Controls are simple: click to match. Not much to say there. However, it can be a little annoying to have to wait for the gravity effect of falling blocks to finish before making your next match. The graphics are great and sound is a generic “calming puzzle music” soundtrack, but they both do their jobs extremely well; I could play a puzzler of giant pixels and a MIDI loop in the background if the gameplay is addicting and functional.

There are achievements and profiling supported through ScoreLoop, but I don’t really bother with these things. It’s enough to have to register with OpenFeint for some titles in order to stop prompts; I’m not going to sign up if it’s non-intrusive, like Runik. I’m going to give props for not shoving it down our throats, though.

Runik is free and ad-supported, so I definitely recommend it. So far, this is SoFresh’s first offering to the Android field, and I hope it won’t be their last.

Download Runik here.


Matt Demers is Droid Life’s App guy, and would love a good port to Tetris Attack, or Pokemon Puzzle League. Those games were legit.

You can find him on Twitter, or contact him through his Droid Life e-mail.

  • SoFresh

    Hi ! We released an update of RuniK a few weeks ago, more will come!

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  • Anonymous

    Been looking for something like this! Downloaded it yesterday, along with a couple other games….LOVE this game!

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  • Laz

    I’ve been playing this regularly now for a month if not more. Very addicting game. I likes it.

  • MansterRock

    Will not download from market onto OG Droid running Gingerbread Build from Bugless Beast creator Peter Alfonso. Says not compatible with my phone. I think it probably is, but in market says it requires Android 2.1 to 2.2. Too Bad…looks pretty nice

    • Steve Hillshire

      Yeah this installed on my OG Droid when I was running 2.2.1 UD ROM but once I shifted to LG 2.3.2 it became unavailable. I knew I should have backed it up!! BTW, I haven’t tried Pete’s Gingerbread release yet, but I am blown away by Liquid Gingerbread. It is hands down the smoothest my Droid has ever functioned! Screens are fluid, apps are fast and I haven’t found one issue with it yet. Its almost like I got a newer more power phone!!

    • SoFresh

      Hi,
      Yes we unfortunately had to remove temporarily the 2.3 support, due to some odd issue, for which we are currently waiting for the Android dev team answer. But we’ll definitely bring RuniK back to the 2.3 asap!
      Thanks for your patience :)

  • guest

    um wont install on htc incredible slcd with cyanogen 7 says its not compatible

  • http://twitter.com/mnguyea David Nguyen

    Strange it shows in the web market but not via the phone. It says it is installed but it never did. It just say not found….?

  • WormDoes

    Can’t install on Inc. Strange

    • incdoes2.3

      ya its not installing on mine either

      • gambit07

        Me neither, anybody have the .apk?

  • Anonymous

    KEEP THE GAMES COMING!!!

  • Anonymous

    Why does it need access to my phone calls and my identity?

    • SoFresh

      Hi,
      There is no need to access your calls, but the identity of the phone is for Scoreloop highscores: a unique profile is associated to each phone, therefore when you submit a highscore you don’t have to enter any nick/mail ;-)

  • Mr. Steve

    Has anyone else noticed that when you click on a market link on your phone it doesn’t open up the android market app, it opens up the android market browser page?

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      That’s because the link is http://, not market:// like QR codes are.

      • Mr. Steve

        Thank you for pointing that out, I have not been able to get an answer until now. I thought it was some sort of error with my phone or the android market app or something else.

  • Anonymous

    Will be sure to check it out.