“Ruya” by Miracle Tea (Bradley Smith, Tom Andrews, Enrico Ercole & Gav Amante).

“A game of tranquillity through the art of matching pieces of Ruya in her world of dreams. Visit surrealist landscapes, decorate yourself in flowers and introspect. A calming minimal experience with juicy interactions and cool colour combinations to make you feel at ease. The ethereal dreamlike soundtrack will tickle your senses and pull you into a state of peaceful flow.”

The audiovisual representation of “Ruya” was such a calming experience that I nearly lost track of time while I solved one puzzle after another. As the tunes just built up a space of their own in my auditory canals, my eyes could not look away from the beautifully chosen color palettes for each stage. The graphics and melodies work so well together that it is nearly mesmerizing in a meditative sense.

Another important element of “Ruya” that enabled this special flow is the gameplay, as it is easy to pick up. The title uses the traditional tile-matching genre core mechanics, so you have to draw connections between isochromatic elements. However, you are not entirely free to choose what kind of connection to create. In the upper left part of the game’s interface you will see the structure that you have to draw next before you can progress. It is your choice which colors the orbs will have or even if you draw it clock- or counterclockwise, but you must make sure that it depicts the specification.

Whenever you do not have enough elements on your board to draw such a connection, Ruya can just toss more in. Of course, the orbs will not always be the color you would love them to be, so better plan ahead. Also, you just have a certain number of moves for each puzzle. While those are more than enough in the first three of overall eight worlds that “Ruya” offers you, the game steadily adds new mechanics that make the level design slightly more complicated, but never too difficult. Frozen orbs that have to be used several times while drawing a connection before they finally leave the puzzle board, platforms that will force orbs to slide downwards when a tile under them is free and popping bubbles – they are all in there. [PLAY]