With its slow rhythm, three play modes, and austere audio and visuals, I Love Squares bears a passing resemblance to fellow iOS title Drop7. Like Area/Code’s masterful puzzler, it’s also more easily understood in motion than words. Rather than breaking open numbered discs, here the object is to form squares from evenly sized red, blue and white sides. Close off a perimeter formed of either red or blue segments, and you’ll be awarded points equal to the square of the number of boxes within it as they’re cleared from the board, and gravity pulls any untethered blocks down to the next unoccupied line. After a set number of moves, you’ll level up, the board shifting toward the top of the screen as a mess of white pieces – which are wild, and can be used to form squares of either colour – shunts them upwards.
Segments can’t be turned, but can move anywhere on the screen so long as they can pass through all gaps en route in their current orientation. It’s a mechanic that makes the bottom of the board just as important as the top – another similarity shared with Drop7 – and one which means every game becomes a tense gamble to see how large an area you can block off before any of your clunky constructions penetrate the top of the play area, ushering in the Game Over screen.
Hardcore mode brings faster levelling and an initial stack of segments, while Ascender – perhaps the most interesting take on the game – introduces green segments and only levels up when you complete a square, making for a greater cerebral challenge. Fans of slower-paced puzzlers like Drop7 and DropZap will find plenty to like here, then, but ultimately it lacks the cascading compulsion of its peers.