Yosumin! is a game that I bet you haven’t heard of before, and with good reason. Developed by Square Enix, Yosumin! originated as a web-based game that was only available in Japan in 2006. A year later, enhanced and updated the smash-hit was released for the Nintendo DS, yet once again only for a Japanese audience. None the less after four years of constant tinkering and updates Square Enix has finally released its game for the wider gaming market, where it can be purchased on the Xbox Live market and for the PC through Steam’s Online Store.
So what is Yosumin! and what makes it so special? The only I can describe it as the lovechild of Tetris and Bejewelled but with its own unique twist. It is like a more refined copy of Candy Crush. The object of the game is simple, in each level you are given a number of target objectives to complete before the time runs out. All you have to do is simply find four same-coloured Yosumin (the cute smiling game pieces) in a 9x9 gameboard to make the four corners of a rectangle. You may only use four pieces to create a small square while other times you may have to use all the other colourful multifaceted game board. It is a game that invites the player to look not only at the over-all picture but also the finer detail simultaneously.
|This is your game space. See that here the square is made from the yellow diamonds that are in each corner|
Sounds easy? I blitzed through the first few levels like it was child’s play only taking seconds to complete the objectives. And then I hit every gamer’s nightmare- the wall. Some levels would take me half an hour to complete; this defiantly one of those games that is alternately fun one moment then frustrating the next. The makers state that game gives you at least ten hours of gameplay and I don’t doubt it- this is because there are literally hundreds of levels to play!
There is no plot to this game which may for some people seem a little disappointing but for me the cute Japanese characters, bright colours and fun upbeat music made up for it. And its simplistic form which can seem a little off putting is deceptive of the challenging and innovated gameplay.
The only real downside for me is the omission of a save button. Only when you have completed a set of five levels is your progress saved, whereas in my opinion the ability to save after completing individual levels is needed. As a game created for the causal game, most players will only play in for limited bursts it can be infuriating to come back to the game to see you must complete levels again in order to advance.
Yet, as much as Yosumin! Is never going to become a pivotal benchmark in puzzle gaming history, it’s cheerful and fun gameplay is sure to bring delight to anyone that plays it, and boy, is game addictive. Prepare to loose countless hours to these delightfully fun little characters. And for not much more than two pounds, what more can you really ask for?