In the puzzle game Rainbow Mystery, you play Lily, a young ‘fairy of the flowers’, whose task is to break a curse that has befallen her homeland. To do this you must complete a series of progressively more tricky tasks. As you solve these, an animated Lily treks through Rainbow Village, bringing colour and harmony to the blighted landscape.
So far, so sugary. Rainbow Mystery’s saving grace is that it’s tight and compulsive. The puzzles are all variations on a single theme; a mutation of the Tetris/Jawbreaker template from earlier parts of the Rainbow series. In the main section of the game, you’re faced with a sequence of ever larger and more complex grids filled with flowers. Yes, flowers. Your goal is to create lines of three or more matching icons to rack up points. Special cells must be matched too and once you’ve got them all you move onto the next grid. As you progress, you receive special potions, artefacts and keys to help you on the quest.
There are three modes; Relax, Classic and Duel. In Relax mode you have all the time in the world to complete each stage as you listen to soothing, tinkly music. In Classic mode, you’re up against the clock, while in Duel mode you battle an evil wizard in a head-to-head scrap. The distinctly different pacing of each mode keeps things interesting long after you’ve progressed through the early levels.
Don’t let Rainbow Mystery’s gentle story and floral facade put you off. It packs a double whammy, with progressively harder puzzles and a new revelation in the narrative at the end of every stage. A charming way to idle away the odd hour or two.