Simple. Elegant. Challenging.
User reviews:
Very Positive (267 reviews) - 89% of the 267 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 29, 2014

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“Elegant and taxing, Strata is a great choice for aesthetes and thinkers alike.”
4.5 / 5.0 – MacLife

“Strata weaves one excellent puzzle experience that is a must buy with some of the best puzzles on iOS, or anywhere.”
4.5 / 5.0 – Apple'N'Apps

“If you’re looking for a chilled out puzzle experience that has plenty of replay value, look no further than Strata.”
9 / 10 – Arcade Sushi

About This Game

A truly unique puzzle experience that embraces simplicity, elegance, and challenge. Strata paints a simple yet challenging puzzle game onto a sophisticated canvas of color and sound. Test the limits of your brain by completing complex weaves of color to solve the puzzles.

The goal of Strata is to strategically layer colored ribbons to match a pattern. Using forethought and strategy you must sequence your moves correctly. Over time patterns emerge and your tactics may evolve, but Strata will keep you on your toes with increasingly difficult puzzles.

Special thanks to those who supported Strata on Greenlight!

Key Features

  • Hundreds of increasingly bigger and more challenging puzzles.
  • Option to Perfect each grid by completing it without pulling a ribbon back.
  • A simple, yet addicting game for any age.
  • Beautifully recorded sounds accompany your actions.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP with SP2 or later / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz or Faster
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 60 MB available space
    • OS: 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later
    • Processor: Intel Mac
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 60 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz+
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (267 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
I cannot recommend this game, did not find it fun at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Twilight Shadow
( 13.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
Trust me. It was not fun after the first few levels.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Royal Salmon
( 22.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 26
Great for wasting hours upon hours on! Really fun and mind-warping!
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( 19.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
The good:
I like the concept of the puzzles. It's unique, and does take a little time to think through. Subtly a memory puzzle at times. Very consistent, which can be tricky to make in a puzzle game. The presentation is also generally quite pretty, and the music is nice and relaxing, and each move you make sounds rather musical as well so that's nice.

The bad:
Repetitive. No surprises here whatsoever, and once you come up with a strategy for the early puzzles every other one works exactly the same way. I like the puzzle idea but now I feel like I've done as many of them as I'd ever want to. Game awards a crown for a "perfect" score, which just means no undos - this could benefit from some kind of extra challenges, I'd say by taking advantage of the multiple solutions each puzzle has in its current form. Game feels meant for a touchscreen, and I wouldn't want to play it with a mouse. Also, no indication on a puzzle screen how many more puzzles are left in the set - I've taken to tallying them just so I know how far I have left.

The ugly:
While I've never had much issue with the gameplay (aside from what I think is fat fingers on my part but I could be wrong), the interface is bugged to hell. Sometimes I'll exit a puzzle set (seems to happen when I exit one without completing it all the way) and the puzzle set select screens bug out and overlay on top of each other and navigation becomes impossible. When you complete a level and all the ribbons slide away, the two on the bottom don't quite make it all the way off the top of the screen before blinking out, implying that the game was never really intended for a landscape view (and really, the left and right 1/3 of the screen is almost empty the entire game). Most damning, the achievements for completing and perfecting an entire puzzle set trigger on completing and perfecting the FIRST puzzle in a set, meaning you can get 14/24 achievements from playing a tiny fraction of the available puzzles.

I do not recommend spending more than $1.00 for this game.
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( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 6
Strata is a minimal stylish casual puzzle game.

I like the visual design, the music and the simple core idea for the puzzles. However, the developer failed to add any advanced puzzle mechanism around that simple idea, which I think is the most import aspect for a puzzle game. (unless the simple core itself is already challenge enough, like Sudoku)

Strata becomes really boring once you firgure out the the easy common solution, which is Instead of trying to match the color of 2nd line to squares, match the color of 1st line to squares and remember the sequence. The correct solution is the reverse of that sequence

I enjoyed the first 15min of the game, and then I "worked" (not played) for another 2+ hours just for 100% achievement

If you want a casual game, Strata is not that bad, but if you are into puzzles, this game is not for you.
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( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
Nice puzzle game. The background music is quite soothing, and the puzzles require thought, but aren't overly complicated. I really enjoy doing the puzzles in this game when I'm looking for something low-key.
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Annie T. Mood
( 17.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 5
A minimalistic, simple puzzle game about planning ahead where you're supposed to match specific ribbon colors to their specified colored squares in certain orders. How it works is probably better explained visually on a how-to video; one's on the Steam store page.
If a mistake is made, an un-do option is there. You can do a "perfect" run of a level if you finish it from beginning to end without mistakes.

The only sounds in the game itself are simple instrumental sound effects when you click on things.
The game's likely to be best played in windowed mode so there's an easier time closing it with ALT + F4 or the close-window button. This game doesn't exactly have an exit-game option.

The game comes in 7 sets of 4 waves each (like set 1 wave 1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-1, etc.) with each of the waves containing a specific amount of levels based on what kind of grid will be there. If a wave in a particular set is going to consist of 3x3 grids then there will be 9 levels in that wave, if it's a 6x6 wave then it's 36 levels, and yaddayadda. 6x6 is the largest kind of grid this game has. With all those levels it's a lot more likely for the game to eventually become repetitious since you're doing the same kind of puzzle over & over again with just a little more to work with each time.
The levels obviously get more complicated & difficult as the square grids and the colors that need to be used increase in size & number. Halfway in though it goes from a 5x5 grid to a very simple & sudden 3x3 and then progressively goes up again but up to a 6x6 instead. I'm not sure what they were going for there with the increase to decrease to an increase in difficulty.
There are 7 sets but it looks like the last 2 sets were supposed to be optional or separated from the base game in a way as their themes and sound effects are completely different from the previous 5 sets.

I don't know what it could be like for anyone else but because practically the entire game is turned 45° I was constantly finding myself with my head unconsciously tilted to match for the more complicated grids. I get that the angle is meant to pretty-fy the simplicity of the game but with it being a puzzle game where you're focusing on square grids you'd probably just want the grids themselves to be angled vertically.

Apparently all of the puzzles have certain patterns on them from what I found and can all be easily solved with a few algorithms, which themselves can be found through experience or guides. That means that if these found methods are used then it becomes less of a puzzle game where you have to match colors in the right order, and more about finding certain patterns on the current puzzle to apply the algorithm on which just further increases the repetition. That said, algorithms don't actually have to be used here and can still be treated "regularly" as a puzzle game but because the formulas exist it just practically breaks the "puzzle" part.

Strata starts out fine but eventually it just becomes a repetitious game down the line pushing away the "puzzle" part because of the existing methods to solve all of the levels.
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( 6.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 4
A beautfil, empty shell

Strata is immediately appealing with its minimal but stylish visual design. You're playing with hamonious swatches of colour, with simple rules: you're throwing ribbons diagonally through a grid, with the goal of matching each square's colour to that of the topmost ribbon passing over it.

The problem is the lack of variety and progress in the puzzles' difficulty. True, there are hundreds of puzzles available, but no new element or rule is ever added to make things more interesting. And the algorithm to solve the puzzles becomes obvious after a short while, meaning that bigger grids may take a bit longer to solve, but are not more mentally challenging than the smaller ones.

While the minimal visual design is good enough to hold itself up until the game's end, I cannot say the same about the sounds, made solely of highly reverbed piano and strings notes. It gets too repetitive and irritating after a while, even if the last sets of puzzles change the instruments to guitars and christmas bells.

Worse still, the menu is completely buggy, making it frequent that you can't move to the next sets of levels or even quit the game properly (use alt-F4 when this happens to force-quit).

Overall, Strata is simply too basic to entertain. It may have been a decent casual experience to play in short bursts when it was still just a mobile game, but as a PC title, it is lacking.
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( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 29
It's aesthetically nice but too repetitive Select colour, pick row, check colour, do overlaps, rinse repeat to play in the long run.
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( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
Perfect minimalist relaxing puzzle game :)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 28, 2014
Strata is a game of layers, from it gameplay, presentation, and internal design. It's immediately accessible, yet provides the tools for a nearly endless array of puzzles, with a beautifully designed art style complimenting the relaxing, minimal audio arrangement. It doesn't assume to be more than it is, nor attempt to break your expectations of what it appears to be, but its narrow ambition isn't a con in this instance, but a deliberate decision that makes Strata and exceptionally easy to pick up enjoy puzzle game that's satisfying without getting bogged down by an abundance of challenge, perfectly finding its place in an offspring of zen puzzle games.

It takes but a moment to understand Strata's one mechanic, that of layering colored strands so the top color is that of the square underneath, but the gradual expansion of the size and complexity of levels keeps it from feeling mundane of simplistic. The lack of any constraints of penalties while solving puzzles allows for experimentation without consequences, which keeps the stress of trying to solve a particularly challenging puzzle at bay. Those wishing for something a little more difficult though will find solace in attempting "perfect" levels, which requires you to complete them without undoing any moves (essentially planning all of your moves from the start and having to remember to execute them in exactly that order). It doesn't change Strata from being a fairly breezily easy game for the most part, but the extra objective is a nice touch for those looking to work their minds a little more fervently.

What drew me into Strata more than anything though was its mellow, inviting art style and beautifully composed sound design. The presentation is clean, but exceptionally stylized, with angles and camera movements positioned perfectly to make the experience feel like it is one giant moving picture. Layering strands creates patchwork designs of an inconsequential look, but somehow meaningful in their randomness. Each button press sparks an instrument to play in the background, making for a symphonic sound that grows as you get closer to completing a puzzle.

Like Lyne and Kami before it, Strata is a basic but addictive puzzle game, that's offers a relaxing change of pace from the hyper violent and sensory overloading games of modern day. It might not ever be more than a nice "in between" game for most people, but at a low price point I would still instantly recommend it to anyone looking to chill out for a few minutes at a time (or more, given the large amount of content here). There's not much more I can say about it, so I'll keep this relatively short and simply say Strata is exactly what it appears to be, which is a charming puzzler that you ought to allot some time to yourself.
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26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 28, 2014
Strata follows closely a recent trend of musically and aesthetically inclined simplistic indie puzzlers, such as Lyne, Kami, Hexcells and Circuits (the latter two to a lesser degree). Each of these titles offers a deceptively simplistic puzzler that hides a significant layer of complexity beneath. Strata is no exception, and of the lot, it is a strong contender for being my favorite of the bunch.

The premise for Strata's puzzles are simple; you begin each puzzle with a squared grid, with most squares representing a specific color. For each row and column, you must assign a single thread of any specific color of your choosing, with the goal of covering each colored square with its respective shade. The rub here is that many threads will overlap, and the only way to succeed in Strata is to ensure that each respective colored thread remains the top most thread on each of the same colored squares. It sounds simple enough, and in the beginning, it is. You start with a simple 2x2 grid, just to learn the basics, but quickly move on to the more common 3x3 and 4x4 grids, with far more challenging 5x5 and 6x6 grids ending each respective segment.

There are 7 sections, each containing 4 separate groups of puzzles, with each group varying between the aforementioned 3, 4, 5 and 6x grid types. Each of the 7 sections contains a slightly different music pattern from the rest, with the latter several carrying wildly different tones than its predecessors. The pleasant piano notes that accompany each click of the mouse and the movements of the threads standout to me as one of the driving forces behind my continued playing of Strata; the relaxing tones urge me to attempt one last puzzle, as does the enjoyment of the miniature sonata that accompanies each victory.

The visual aesthetic that accompanies the lovely music could not have been more perfectly placed, as there is nary a single unnecessary graphic or flashy fixture to interfere with the mood already set by the already relaxing musical performance. The movement of the colored threads in-game and in the menus remain smooth throughout, lending to the elegance of the piano with each movement.

For the simplicity that Strata provides, it's impressive the level of challenge that presents itself upon reaching the higher numbered grid sets. While challenging, I've yet to come across a single puzzle that instilled anything other than a relaxed state of mind while I slowly piece together where each thread should end up. and with only a few "perfect" segments under my belt, I enjoy the thought that my time with Strata is far from over, as I have several segments I've yet to even attempt. Ignoring this title on the notion that simplicity may accompany inadequacy would be a crime, and with the low price, I wholeheartedly recommend Strata to anyone in need of a relaxing time waster between responsibilities, and especially for anyone who enjoys a pleasant puzzle now and again.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 14, 2015
Beautiful sound design and very well presented deductive logic game. After getting the hang of it, the puzzles aren't very different from each other. However the background instruments that play notes as you progress a puzzle and then a short melody at completion make for a soothing puzzle experience. One might compare this to Kami; Strata is more aurally pleasing while the puzzles from Kami are more challenging.

If you enjoy unique aesthetics in visual palette and sound design and aren't put off by the fairly straight forward puzzle solving, you should enjoy Strata for at least a short time.
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
"Become a weaving puzzler"
Another amazing puzzle game on Steam. After making connections in "LYNE" and doing folds in "KAMI" now comes "STRATA". It' just simple, unique and challenging ...

You have colored ribbons from both sides and must weave them in the right way. You play in a matrix with colored fields. The last ribbon on top must have the same color as the field color. Such simple it is, you should be alarmed: it's absolutely reverse thinking. Unfortunately there are only max 2 layers of ribbon possible in every level.
The game difficulty raises slow and usually it becomes harder with more colors. It starts at 3x3 fields and 2 colors, later it goes up to 5x5 and 5 colors and 6x6 and 4 colors.

Something strange is that you have to play a lot of levels (there are over 500 in this game) . For a set of 3x3 9 levels, for a set of 5x5 25 levels, and 6x6 even 36 levels. Sometimes the menu is bugged and the achievements are also not working right. But altogether it's quite fun and you play for some hours a nice game.
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28 of 39 people (72%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
17.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2015
Strata is aesthetically minimalist but still manages an elegant beauty. Its sound design effectively communicates success and failure in a manner befitting the 'zen puzzler' mould it is trying to fill. Its minimalism extends to interface in a way that promotes the kind of 5 minute drop-in gaming that makes these games so addicting. Still I can't recommend this game because it fails in the one place that really matter, it's a weak puzzle.

For the first 10 minutes or so I really enjoyed Strata, a simple but engaging puzzle format that seemed to have a lot of room for variation ahead of it. Then it hit me, there is a simple mechanical stratey to solve literally every puzzle of this format regardless of the size or number of colours. However complicated a solution may be it is always trivial to solve in reverse, this leads to the game quickly evolving into busywork. Even for this low price with all the pretty packaging a bad puzzle is a bad puzzle and a thorough waste of time.

I kept hoping that in the later sets the game would through in some new spin or twist on the mechanics, unless it appears in the final 6x6 it never comes. I feel like there is something hidden within this concept that could be saved, maybe a block type that is set by the bottom ribbon or requires a particular ribbon combination? In its current state the game is nothing but dissapointing.

MINOR ISSUES: the game had a few navigation bugs in the level select menu which require a restart to make the game playable again. Some of the ribbon colours seem too close to each other leading to silly mistakes, this wouldn't be a big deal if the perfect system didn't punish undoing.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2014
A nice zen puzzler. You against your own intellect. Tranquil and meditative; provides food for thought. No rage-quits here. Well worth the money.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
Looking for a beautiful, relaxing game? This is it.
Similar in feel to Kami, Picross, Splice, Lyne.

Everything from the graphics to the music, to the gameplay is incredibly zen and gives you peace of mind while still managing to engage you. Very easy to get into, even without the excellent yet simple tutorial.

What made me first discover Strata and Kami was the wonderfully clean art-style, I was very surprised how well orchestrated the game is with small bits of beautifully crafted sounds. There seems to be no loading times for each puzzle which makes everything feel like it flows together beautifully, adding to the already peaceful setting of the game.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Surprisingly simple and entertaining puzzle game. It delivers what the trailer says with its elegance and simplicty. A VERY enjoyable experienec in the vein of LYNE and other puzzlers that don't hurry you up with timers and other stuff. You take your time and try to solve the puzzles with the chance to perfect them, which is just not undoing any moves.

With varying complexity and a huge amount of puzzles, there is plenty here to keep you entertained for several hours or to save you from a boring day at work.

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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2015
Strata, as a puzzle game, is fundamentally flawed.

I purchased it as part of a recent bundle, along with some other abstract, aesthetically pleasing games. Strata undoubtedly looks and sounds nice. I was impressed by the game's obvious polish before I started playing.

Once I started, however, I encountered the issue which makes me unable to recommend this game in the slightest to anyone looking to solve puzzles. Every grid in Strata can be solved by a "greedy" algorithm. There is no confusion possible, as if multiple options are present, it doesn't actually matter which you pick; all will work. It is therefore hard for me to call Strata a puzzle game. Were we required instead to match the bottom square, solving puzzles would be disturbingly straightforward, as any move that wasn't immediately wrong would lead to a valid solution. The present game merely requires performing the easy solution in reverse, which while perhaps a memory challenge still does not a puzzle make.

This backward structure also leads to an unfortunate quirk. The majority of grids could be solved without using every colored strip, but this isn't permitted. You must instead place any extraneous strips first, partially obscuring the puzzle without actually affecting your solution in any way. It feels a bit silly.

I can't help but think that the game's designer was aware of this flaw to some extent, since they mention in the description that "[o]ver time patterns emerge and your tactics may evolve." I mostly wrote this review because I had never encountered this problem before. Every other puzzle game I've played had some claim to being objectively puzzling, generally by being an instance of an NP- or PSPACE-hard problem (like sudoku or sokoban, respectively). In contrast, generalized Strata puzzles are very clearly in P, and it seems many other players have stumbled upon the same simple algorithmic solution.

Strata's artistic design is fantastic, and it would probably be a joy to play if you were looking to relax while looking at colorful arrangements. Unfortunately, it lacks puzzles.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
Very fun, small puzzle game! Anybody who liked the game Lyne might like this too!
Great game to sit with for couple of minutes and think. The stages get defficult and difficult and challenging.
I got this in humble bundle, but I recommend it for its current price, or on sale.
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