Smart Pen


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Rating: 3.4/5 (47 votes)
| Comments (6) | Views (1,204)

Smart Pen

Johnny123 Smart Pen is one of those puzzle games that is essentially a browser-based version of iOS game Blek by another developer, which definitely puts it in "clone" category. The controls couldn't be easier. Simply draw a line or shape and watch the pattern repeat in the air. Your lines will bounce off the sides and keep repeating but the upper and lower borders are off limits, and then there are the black holes you must avoid. The goal is to send your magic marker through each colored circle on the screen, requiring no small amount of imagination and artistic flair. The pen is smart, sure enough, but it can take some time to reprogram your brain enough to understand just how your lines will behave once you set them free in the vacuum. This is how mouse-only browser gaming is supposed to feel, requiring forethought, a sure hand, and a boatload of patience when things get tricky.

Smart PenA track pad is not the best option to play Smart Pen. Every tiny flaw in your design throw the pattern further and further off the mark as it repeats its way across the screen. This is one mouse-only game that actually requires a mouse, or even better, a stylus and touch screen. You also can't just play connect the dots. Your line won't count if you accidentally connect it directly to a colored circle, it has to make it there after you let it go. This can be frustrating in the levels that require precise maneuvering. But every good puzzle game has just a smidgen of infuriating, doesn't it? It adds spice, like a drop of hot sauce. That's really what we have here, a soothing, minimalist experience with a splash of infuriating difficulty that keeps you wanting to beat the next level. It's unfortunate that Smart Pen is so clearly taking more than a page out of Blek's book without acknowledging it, so if you enjoy Smart Pen, make sure you play Blek as well. As it stands, Smart Pen is still a fun example of a preexisting concept brought to your browser that might turn you on to another game when you're done with it, too.

Play Smart Pen

6 Comments

almostnacho7 Author Profile Page August 17, 2014 4:02 PM

I know where I've seen it before: it's the exact same premise as the iOS game Blek.
And it uses almost the exact same design, too. I'm somewhat ashamed of this developer.

Score: 5 (5 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
shipoopie Author Profile Page August 17, 2014 4:25 PM

Pretty neat! I got stuck on level 5 and gave up. :-(

It could lose that big PLAY button at the start that just takes you to their website. I clicked it thinking I needed to to start the game because it stayed there a long time begging to be clicked and all it did was not what it claims. Lame.

Score: 2 (2 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Jamilworm Author Profile Page August 17, 2014 9:40 PM

I really liked the concept. I wish there was more variation of level layout, with different obstacles and stuff. All of the dot grid levels pretty much have the exact same solution

up, right, down, right

so that got repetitive.

Score: 2 (2 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
thegreatescaper Author Profile Page August 18, 2014 4:12 AM

I'm afraid I had the exact same first thought as almostnacho7. This is Blek, given a different author name, and reposted on the Internet (not the exact same game, of course, but play Blek and you'll know what I mean).
Blek feels more polished and artistic than this, anyway.

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Yes, I'm afraid I'm with @almostnacho7 and @thegreatescaper.

This is unfortunately an almost identical copy of Blek, which is a great game in itself.

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Thanks for letting us know, guys. As mentioned in the review, we (the writers) had discussed privately where we had seen this game before but we were unable to dig anything up. (I'm sure you can imagine when you deal with evaluating thousands of games they all sort of blend together.) I'll amend the review.

Score: -1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

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