Say What You See: This Rebus Puzzle App Looks Like Fun [Review]


Roll up, roll up...
Roll up, roll up...

Rebus Show is an iOS Rebus puzzle game with visual style and flair.

Even if you’ve not heard the name “Rebus puzzle” before, you’ll know the concept when you see it.

The aim is to guess words represented by pictures. If you see a picture of a cat, the word is cat. If you see a picture of someone asleep, the word is something associated with sleeping, so the solution to the puzzle is probably “cat nap”. You get the idea.

Each puzzle might only last a few seconds, but the idea is that they get tougher as you play on. Sometimes your brain supplies the answer immediately, but there are occasions when even the smartest wordsmith is confused or gets a brain block that gets in the way.

Eye. Pod. You get the idea.

You’re not racing against the clock, though, so take your time. This was the only thing we struggled with when playing the game – in so many games, doing things fast is crucial for getting more points. No need for that here. Stop, think. Grab a thesaurus if you have to. Bend your brain to the words.

What’s obvious from the start is the quality of development that’s gone into this game. From the custom steampunk keyboard (they didn’t have to make that, but they went to the trouble all the same) to the sound design and visual flourishes – all of it adds up to a game that’s had some heart and soul poured into it.

Stuck? Tap on a picture for help

Here’s what Rebus Show’s creator Norman Basham has to say about it:

Just the puzzles alone took the artist, James Cotner, and myself over two months to create. It took a while to learn to think in ‘rebus’. We plan on creating more puzzles but we want to learn what the users enjoy by studying their puzzle ratings. There are already trends we never expected – people seem to enjoy the easier puzzles.

In the meantime, we’re busy creating an iPhone version we hope to release in the next couple of weeks – we were concerned about the screen size but have been pleasantly surprised how playable the iPhone has turned out to be.

For your two dollars investment, Rebus Show provides 196 wordy challenges to wrestle with, which is a decent amount of brain teasing wrapped inside a beautiful little bit of app design. It’s playful, fun for all ages, and decent value for money. Entertaining stuff.

Pro: High quality puzzle game suitable for all

Con: I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago