IDEA review: “Bouncing ideas around the real world”

IDEA review: "Bouncing ideas around the real world"

Even the greatest creatives get stumped sometimes and that’s a good time to take a step back to gain a new perspective. TLR Games did this when they came up with the concept for the game IDEA. It’s a relaxing exploration game that is controlled by tapping and dragging. With well-timed interaction, you can bounce ideas around the map to visit new areas and collect new thoughts. It gives the sense of traveling on maps that have multiple entries and therefore multiple angles to use to gain more speed and a new perspective. Also, make sure you share any bright ideas.

What is IDEA?

The concept of an idea could be considered abstract but most would just call it a type of thought. IDEA drives this point home but doesn’t have any ideas when it comes to the plot. For all we know, the story takes place in Google Maps. A lightbulb representing an idea drops onto the map and starts moving from top to bottom due to gravity. It can gather enough force to bounce itself around, but you’re there to lend some guidance so that it doesn’t get stuck. Should you have a successful run, you can take the time to share your ideas across the maps.


When we get a good idea, we have a tendency to latch onto it and take it to as many wonderful places as we can. This is the feeling behind IDEA and it’s a lovely one. This is a pure experience that is meant to help you unwind and relax. But, it’s also meant to help you think, but not in the way you usually do. Rather than bouncing ideas off other creators, you’re bouncing your own ideas off the world around you. With the maps being hyper-realistic and live, it cements the reality of thinking in real-time in the real world about what you want to do.

But, what do you do in this game? Well, you are the shepherd of your own idea that takes the form of a lightbulb in a bubble. You can help it bounce around by tapping near it with your finger and producing a shockwave. However, you learn quickly that you can’t spam this, which is a good thing. It’s sort of like a metaphor for being unable to force an idea, you just need to let it develop on its own sometimes. With the timer at the top and other types of idea icons to collect, it causes you to think about how you can make the most of it.


Sometimes we don’t realize a bad idea until it’s stuck around for a while or until after it has had negative effects. With IDEA, the negatives are seen mainly in its limitations. This is more of an activity than a game, a tool to help you unwind. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it may not provide the stimulation that you’re looking for so many people think differently. You’ll also need to get used to the fact that you’ll be seeing a lot of the same screens over and over again. If you’re trying to visit every map, it may be helpful to draw a map of your own.

Ideally IDEA

IDEA is a top-down relaxation game about bouncing ideas around maps based on the real world. It’s relaxing and pleasant while also helping you to see things from a new perspective. However, it’s not an activity for everyone and it can feel lacking considering it’s trying to help you think. But, that may not be the point, it’s just an idea.

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