Suppose I were to hand you a 24-piece children's jigsaw puzzle. The picture's not important, just imagine whatever you want on there. If you want the Smurfs, you've got the Smurfs. If you want Bruce Lee, you've got him. You open the box, spread the pieces out on the table, and I say, "Go." So what's your reaction? Most likely, you'd be racing to get that puzzle together as quickly as you can. It's a simple puzzle, why shouldn't it be done fast? As you slap the final piece into place, you shout, "Done!" and look at me for the time.
"…What time? I don't have a stopwatch, I wasn't timing you… What did you want?"
Perhaps I'm spoiling a bit of the game here, but this is the basic premise behind Tonypa's (Pushori, Floribular) latest creation, Nosobow. To play, look at the set of colored tiles on the screen. Some of them have exact matches (without rotating), some don't. Your job is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen by clicking on them. Removing all singletons from the board advances you to the next level where tiles are worth more points, but clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game.
By the way, there's no time limit. You have all the time in the world to complete each level. There are no buzzers waiting to go off, no bombs about to explode, and I'm not standing behind you with a bucket of ice water ready to be poured down your back when the clock strikes six. Nor should there be. Nosobow is a game of concentration with shades of a memory challenge thrown in, not a game of reaction times or quick thinking. But who says you won't make it one? It's only a matter of time before you begin to lose your patience with yourself and you start making hasty clicks, and you click the wrong tile.
Luckily, the game isn't over yet… maybe. A false click starts a randomizer, which can stop on a special tile that cuts your score in half and lets you continue playing, or on a tile that lets you continue scot-free, or on the dreaded "game over" tile. The three choices are equally weighted, so you have a two-thirds chance of continuing the game, but half of those times, it will cost you some of your hard-earned progress. So needless to say… it's best not to slip up.
Analysis: Behind Tonypa's brilliantly simple design lies a deviously intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration, which is pretty easy to get caught up in emotionally. Especially once you hit the higher stages, it's hard not to panic for a few moments when you click the wrong tile. Nosobow is a compelling game that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.