It is a busy world these days. Rare is the opportunity to just sit back and relax and the constant pacing of the work day leaves many burdened with a seemingly insurmountable amount of stress. Games tend to be a common stress reliever for a number of people. Granted some are better at it than others, but a developer by the name of “Zwigglers” aims to be on the “better” half. The app is Chain RXN, and it’s already grown to reach 1.5 million Facebook players in the last month.
Inside Chain RXN, the player is presented with a screen full of bouncing, multicolored orbs and a white sphere attached to the mouse pointer. Simply click the mouse, and that location will expand with the sphere previously attached to the mouse. Any orb that touches it will also expand in its corresponding hue, and any orb that touches that will emulate the same reaction.
Each expanded orb will dissipate after a short period of time, so the objective is to “explode” as many orbs as is required by the level and score as high a score as possible through successive explosions. Once you place the first sphere, the reaction is out of your control (hence the title “Chain RXN”), so timing is key. Each explosion is merely an expansion of the smaller orb combined with a gentle, bell-like chime. The successive reactions equate to similar chimes as the over all reaction creates a melodious sonnet of sounds; all of which are very soft and calming.
Even the end of each level is light-hearted with a jubilant jingle that plays upon success, and even failure is far from frustrating simply from the soft sounds and colors that envelop the game. Furthermore, the resulting placement of that first click creates an emergence reminiscent to Conway’s Game of Life as the expanding orbs create a unique and vibrant pattern of sound, shape, and color every time that is simply captivating to watch.
If there was any downside, it is that the game has virtually no control. In the later levels, there are around 50 or so orbs floating about so timing and planning go right out the window and you more or less have to rely on luck. Nonetheless, it is easily overlooked and is quite simple to make your way from start to finish in one sitting.
A combination of serene sounds and soft, warm colors gives Chain RXN a very Zen state of play. Despite the fact that a lot of the gameplay revolves around luck, the calming sensation that washes over the user dissolves any qualms one might have. It isn’t something that you would revisit often due to length, but it certainly makes for a brief escape from daily stresses.