Duet will run rings around your brain

Had a tough day? Need to kick back with a simple and relaxing iOS game? Best try something else, then.

iOS is a fantastic platform for small and perfectly-formed games with simple controls that are perfect for bite-sized helpings, and such games often tend to come with strong design aesthetic to add to the experience and, we suppose, help them stand out from the many games in a similar vein. Duet's one such game, ticking all the boxes.

It's brilliantly basic. You're in control of a pair of orbiting spheres travelling upwards, and you can rotate the pair clockwise and anti-clockwise. The aim is simply to get to then end of each level without smashing either of your spheres into anything. Easy!

Oh no it isn't. It's a thoroughly gruelling test of spacial awareness, nerves and memory that will do your head right in. You're given a few practice levels to breeze your way through and then the gloves come off and you're having to pick your way through horrible slaloms of static, moving and - even worse - rotating blocks, and when (not if) you panic and smash into one of them you're yanked straight back to the start to try again. Then just to add insult to injury as you tackle the same hateful level over and over and over again you’re reminded of each failure by the remains of ruined spheres splattered across the obstacles.

It's murderously difficult and quite horribly compelling thanks to the speed at which you restart after messing up; it's like drifting into a hypnotic state while being savagely beaten around the head. And it's so easy to keep on having another go, even as your rage levels are building and you edge ever closer to flinging your iThing at the nearest wall. Plus it's difficult to resist its minimal looks, understated background animations and soothing electronic soundrack.

Key info

  • Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
  • Price: $2.99/£1.99
  • Developer: Kumobius
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • App size: 29.3 MB
  • Age rating: 4+

Words: Jim McCauley

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