Visually, Ruya is beautiful with a simple and clean design. Everything is rendered in 2D, but the artwork seems to pop thanks to the subtle backgrounds. The setting of Ruya takes place in a world of dreams, so you get to see a variety of surreal landscapes. The color palette in Ruya ranges with a nice mix of soft pastels and bolder hues that provide nice contrast with the darker background shades. The ambient soundtrack is packed with tranquil nature sounds, such as rainfall, snow, and wind, so it’s the ultimate atmospheric experience. The sound effects as you connect the pieces together are also soothing.
Like many other puzzle games, Ruya is level-based. There are eight chapters, with eight levels each. In the beginning of each level, you get to see a memory of Ruya’s, so a story unfolds as you make progress.
Each puzzle must be completed before players can move on to the next one, so it’s fairly linear. There are no hints either, but the game does not require any, as the entire experience is designed to help you relax.
The game does not have a star system, points, or even impose a time limit, so you can play at your own pace. The only restriction are the number of moves you’re allotted per stage, but even this is not a big deal. The puzzles can get challenging, but they can all be solved within a few attempts.
So how do you play? Every stage features a different layout on the grid, and there will be some colored pieces to start with. If a piece is in a bubble, that means it takes two matches to clear it out, and the bubble nets you some extra moves, which can be rather helpful. At the bottom are colored characters to match with the game pieces on the board. A number on them indicates the amount of colored pieces you need to complete the puzzle.
At the top, Ruya appears and can add more colored pieces to the board if needed — just tap on an empty space for her to add a piece (this doesn’t count as a move). There’s also a specific pattern shown that you need to match when you connect like-colored pieces together for it to count. To connect the pieces together, just use your finger to trace a line through the pieces you want to use.
If the board fills up and there are no possible moves left, you lose a move and the board gets reshuffled. More moves are added if you pop the bubbles that pieces are in, and those don’t count until they’re popped, adding to the challenge.
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