App review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Eliss App Poster Image
Innovative puzzler requires a fast mind and faster reflexes.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Artful pictorial instructions are clever but a little confusing. Players will need to spend a few minutes muddling around in the first level to get a feel for game elements, then revisit the instructions with a better understanding of the objects to which they refer. Later levels can be very difficult.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Eliss is a unique puzzle game that has players creating supernovas by moving planets around a screen. Nothing about what players see is relatable to the real world; it’s essentially an abstract logic puzzle that forces players to work quickly. It’s safe for all ages, but the challenge level is such that most kids under the age of 8 will likely find it more frustrating than fun.

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Is it any good?

The object of ELISS is to create supernovas by sliding planets over “squeesars” -- circles within rings of 10 smaller circles -- of approximately similar size to make them go boom. Sounds simple, but there are plenty of obstacles to success. For starters, planets of similar color will join together and become bigger if they touch. Second, if planets of contrasting color collide your energy bar will begin quickly depleting. If it reaches zero, it’s game over.

Keeping planets sorted while watching for suitably sized squeesars to appear requires one’s complete attention; the game can end abruptly if your eyes stray from the screen even for a couple of seconds. As the game progresses you’ll need to make use of your device’s multitouch capabilities by employing several fingers to maneuver several colors of planets. Consequently, our biggest beef is the size of the screen on which the action plays out. It feels cramped. Eliss is a good game just waiting to be ported to a bigger platform, like the iPad (the game can be played on an iPad, but isn't customized for the larger screen size).

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