Coming iPad Puzzle Game Explores Mysticism and Beauty


Independent game designer Jonathan Hise Kaldma, who earlier this year released the poetic iPad game Flight of the Fireflies, is working on a new game for iPad called Mandalarium. It can best be described as a mystic puzzle game that is more about being hypnotized and experiencing beauty than it is about being intellectually challenged. It will be released on the App Store in Q3 2012.

"I love this idea of creating games that are worth playing in their own right, not because you get points or achievements for it," says Jonathan Hise Kaldma. "Mandalarium takes that idea and applies it to puzzle games. So even though it's a puzzle, all solutions are the right one. And you play just because it's beautiful."

Just like the designer's previous game, Mandalarium is visually striking. It draws inspiration both from the Tibetan sand paintings that it takes its name from, and from Western mystic symbolism like the Tarot deck and the works of C.G. Jung. But not just the art is mystic – the experience is too.

"When playtesting it, I've seen people get completely hypnotized. They want to play it again and again to get an even more beautiful mandala. And since there's no way to lose – since there's no frustration – it's a much more zen-like experience than regular puzzle games. It really shows that there's a broad space that games can yet explore."

Jonathan Hise Kaldma is an independent game designer from Stockholm, Sweden. He creates games that focus on emotional and aesthetic experiences instead of challenge or competition. His latest game, Flight of the Fireflies, has been a finalist in the Nordic Indie Game Award and the A MAZE Indie Game Award, as well as being shown at last year's Notgames Fest.


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