Rules! for iPhone: Game Review and Playing Tips

Remember the rules and follow them in reverse order.

It’s been a while since I got hooked to a game so much to play it over and over again for days; the last game to do that for me was Threes. But, I’ve finally found a game that could match Threes! in terms of addictiveness. Called Rules!, the new game from TheCodingMonkeys requires you to follow simple rules and remember them in reverse order.

Memorize All the Rules in Reverse Order

Each rule is relatively simple. For example, tap the tiles in descending order starting from 10 to 1. There are only 16 tiles on the screen, and they only involve numbers from 1 to 10. But, things start to get complicated after you’ve completed a few levels.

For example, the second level requires you to tap the tiles with green images. But, because not every tiles have green on them, you need to apply the previous rule (i.e., tap in descending order) after you clear all the green tiles.

This continues in the subsequent levels. Starting from the third level, you need to tap the tiles with the odd numbers first, then the ones with the green images, and finally the remaining tiles in descending order.

The idea of the game is to complete as many levels as possible before the time runs out. You start with 20 seconds on the clock, and you get additional time when you complete a level — similar to the checkpoint system in most racing games. Once it’s game over, you have to start from the beginning.

Watch trailer video for Rules! on YouTube

Things I Like

Rules! is the perfect iPhone game. You only need a few minutes to play in the beginning, but when you finally get the hang of it, you’d want to play for more than 10 minutes without being interrupted.

It’s the kind of game that everyone should be able to complete; all you need is concentration and focus. Of course, the challenge is in trying to memorize all the rules in the previous level whenever a new one comes along.

The game provides statistics on how well you’re performing at the end of the game.

Playing Tips

I still can’t get past level 39, but there are reports of players who have completed level 100. In the mean time, these are some strategies that I used to reach that level:

  1. There is no point in playing if you don’t remember the order of the rules. If you must, write down the rules in reverse order on a piece of paper as your cheat sheet. Feel free to print my cheat sheet as outlined in the next section.

  2. You don’t need to remember the rules all the time, but you need to remember them before you start a level. I literally recite the rules before I start playing each level.

  3. Being correct is more important than being fast. Getting the wrong tiles is a major speed bump for your train of thoughts.

  4. Be warned that the game rules don’t reset on level 20 and 30 just because they reset on level 10. In level 30, you’re asked to shake if you see Whales. In level 31, you’re asked to tap in descending order except for Whales. This means that you need to follow the rules up to level 31, then shake the remaining Whales.

  5. Use your earphones when you play. The sound effects will let you know when it’s time to move on to the next applicable rule. Unless you hear that sound, you should keep looking for the next tiles that are applicable to the current rule. I find it very helpful to avoid moving onward too early.

  6. In Level 16, you’re asked to tap on adjacent Monsters. Remember that a Monster is considered as adjacent when there is another Monster above, below, or next to it. But, once you clear a Monster, it may leave the other Monster(s) not applicable to this rule.

  7. If you want to pass Level 16 quickly, I’d suggest avoiding clearing as many Monsters as you can using the adjacent rules. For example, you may notice a sequence of Monsters adjacent to each other. The efficient way to clear them is to start from one end and moving towards the other end, but it’s faster to just tap the ones that break the chain and work on subsequent (and easier) rules. They will be cleared regardless, one way or the other. I try to spend as little time as possible on complex rules such as this one.

  8. In Level 29, you’re asked to tap the Bipeds. Remember that Bipeds only include Monsters, Birds, Robots, and Astronauts.

  9. In Level 35, you’re asked to tap the Red Animals. Remember that Red Animals include Red Foxes, Red Birds, and Red Squirrels.

The game also requires you to shake every once in a while.

Cheat Sheet

This is my current cheat sheet (up to level 39). I wrote it down on a piece of paper to help me get past the levels. Even when you have played the game more than 100 times, you need this. So, print it if you will. I will update it as I progress to the levels.

39. Squirrels  
38. Lowest number  
37. Odd monsters  
36. Even monsters  
35. Red animals  
34. Multiple of threes (3, 6, 9)  
33. Prime (2, 3, 5, 7)  
32. Third column  
31. Ascending except Whales  
30. Shake if Whales  
29. Bipeds  
28. Foxes  
27. Fives  
26. 5s-9s  
25. Astronauts  
24. Even  
23. Yellow  
22. Second row  
21. Descending except Robots  
20. Shake if Unicorns  
19. Seven  
18. Robot  
17. Red monsters  
16. Adjacent monsters  
15. Birds  
14. Phones  
13. Ones  
12. Highest  
11. Ascending  
10. Tens  
9. Mustaches  
8. Green monsters  
7. Monsters  
6. Whales  
5. Animals  
4. Nines  
3. Odd  
2. Green  
1. Descending


Rules! is a great iPhone game that is simple to play but difficult to master. It is very addictive, and has excellent support for multi touch. I really enjoyed playing it, and I’m looking forward to reaching the end of the game.

Get it on the App Store: iPhone

Game was purchased by us.