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Daily iPhone App: Ending is an excellently pure gaming experience

Ending is one of my favorite kinds of games. It's an almost language-free experience. When the game starts, all you're given is a few arrows and a hammer as icons on the screen. That's it.

The two arrows lead to the game's two different modes. The first is a puzzle mode, where you have a series of levels to navigate through. The way the game works is that you can move your little protagonist (represented by a stylized "@" symbol, in reference to the great roguelike genre) around by swiping, and you can conquer any of your "enemies" on the screen by swiping into them. The problem is that those enemies can also defeat you with one hit, so you need to make sure that whenever you move, you're not sliding into a square in danger.

The second mode is an endless version of the puzzle stages, where all of the enemies that you gradually find in the puzzle game run after you right away. It's a wild take on the roguelike genre that doesn't use any words to teach you what to do: It's just a very pure game.

The hammer launches a level-creation mode, which was cool, but confusing. Some things might require a little bit of language. Still, fans of the game probably won't need anything more than that mass of buttons, and the rest of us have plenty to play with in the other modes anyway.

Ending is a terrific title, and it's one of those games that does a whole lot with very little. Developer Aaron Steed has put together a really interesting take on what's essentially dungeon exploration, and at a universal price of just US$0.99, this one is a must try.

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