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Apple Arcade: ‘Tint’ Review – Fifty Shades of Great?

Are you tired of your floor being lava? Have you had enough of roads that are super impossible? Are there just too many horns in your ocean? If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the crazy action games in Apple Arcade, slow down and give Tint a try!

Tint by Lykke Studios is a game about painting. Each level begins with one or more origami shapes sitting on a page, and your goal is to draw an unbroken line of watercolor paint to each shape in the corresponding color. For example, a red paper frog might need a line of red paint to connect to it.

It seems simple enough, but the challenge is that you’ll often have a shape with a color like orange or purple, and the dabs of paint you have to work with are generally just primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). So how do you get purple from that? Well, as you can probably guess, you combine red and blue. Or yellow and red for orange, and so on. You can only draw with one color at a time, so in order to combine colors you’ll have to first draw a line with red (your primary), and then draw a new line with blue (another primary) that crosses over the red line, which makes your purple (the secondary color).

It’s a mechanic that works pretty well and is fun to mess around with, but that’s really only half the story. The other part of the challenge comes from the level design. On each page there will already be lines and shapes of different colors that you need to navigate around (or through) on your way to the origami figure(s). If you accidentally hit another primary color on the page, you might end up with a new color you didn’t want. And even worse, if you run into a color that’s already been turned into a secondary color, you’ll wind up making a nasty grey and you’ll have to start over.

It’s essentially a color mixing logic puzzle combined with a spatial puzzler like a maze. Neither element in the game is very difficult or complex on its own, but the two together can make for some pretty tricky levels. Fortunately, the game gives you hints if you do get stuck, and even more fortunately, they don’t cost any kind of currency to use. Thanks, Apple Arcade!

You probably won’t need the hints most of the time though, as the level of challenge here is fairly light overall. I did have to use one or two hints a handful of times, but I was able to solve most puzzles by just diving straight in and experimenting for a few minutes. I tend to really enjoy puzzle games that are more relaxing than brain-busting, and I found the difficulty to be pretty perfect in that regard.

Presentation-wise the game really shines. The watercolor paint looks and feels very realistic (especially when two colors combine), and each section of levels comes with new background details like rain or even a snail that slowly scoots by the page. (Go on, poke the snail. You know you want to.)

Musically there’s not a lot going on, with various little chimes and bells that ring when you do certain actions. The soundtrack to each level is mostly just ambient noise like wind, rain, or bugs chirping. It all works really well and perfectly complements the simple, relaxing mood of the gameplay. The developers also included haptic feedback to the painting mechanics, which in my opinion makes every game twice as much fun to interact with.

If I have any big complaint about the game, it’s that there’s nowhere near enough of it. There are only 50 levels in all, and many of them can be solved in just a few seconds. The most time I spent with one was probably two or three minutes, and the entire game can be completed in just an hour or so. It’s hard to complain, though, when the whole thing is more-or-less free…ish. It doesn’t really owe us anything, does it?

Beyond that, I did have an issue with painting at the top of levels sometimes triggering the iOS notification screen, which is a problem I had with Mini Motorways in that review as well. It could also be frustrating starting the painting from scratch each time you accidentally get too close to a line of the wrong color–an undo button would go a long way here.

In all, Tint probably won’t change the world. It’s not flashy like Soyanara Wild Hearts or bursting with heartfelt storytelling like Assemble With Care. And there’s certainly no Sonic racing around in it. But what it lacks in hedgehogs it makes up for with snails. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while it may not blow your socks off, it will certainly gently peel them off and toss them in the dryer for you while you curl up on the couch with some hot chocolate. If any of that sounds appealing to you, definitely give Tint a try.


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NOTE: Tint is available exclusively as part of Apple Arcade, a premium gaming subscription service from Apple. Without being a subscriber to Apple Arcade you cannot download and play this game. Apple Arcade is $4.99 per month and does come with a free one month trial, you can learn more about it on Apple’s official website or by visiting our dedicated Apple Arcade forum.