The rules are simple, but the puzzles are challenging. Why? Because the rules aren’t explained to you; RLB forces you to play by the rules and figure them out as you go along. I was originally thrown by the premise, but wound up hooked a few hours and several puzzles later.
In order to complete puzzles, you must change the color of all shapes from black using the color palette available in the upper right. You start with two colors and gradually add more as you progress through the levels. The interface is simple; first you select a color from the palette, then tap the piece. There’s a catch, though; you have a limited number of tries to get the right color, as indicated by the black dots in the upper left.
In order to make the right color choice, you have to decipher the clues inside each shape. These clues are the small dots of color that react in certain ways when a piece is colored in, either by staying the same or changing to a white outline. Those clues must guide your color choices for adjacent pieces. When you run out of tries, the entire puzzle resets, which adds a fun dimension of memory to the logic puzzle. The RLB logic starts off fairly simple, but grows more complex as you progress and begin to add more colors. The game is very chess-like in its use of arbitrary rules, so if you’re not a fan of chess, chances are RLB’s complex logistics will frustrate you. If you have dreams of one day matching wits in a chess match against an IBM computer, RLB will be right up your alley.
On an odd note, the game doesn’t include a soundtrack. You can play your own music over it, but it takes some effort as the app mutes background music when you start it up. I found the lack of soundtrack somewhat disorienting, but it doesn’t really detract from what is a challenging, brain-teasing, and ultimately engaging puzzle game.