clines works basically by scattering colored tokens across a rectangular board. In your turn you have the option to relocate one token to any open square, provided it can move there in simple directions and without impediments.
If you can, over the course of turns, bring five tokens of the same color into a straight line, you score points and the matching tokens are removed. Every turn that ends without a scoring line prompts the addition of more tokens to the board. Connect five, and you gain a free move.
Eventually the added tokens make it harder to move, until the board is finally filled.
Supposedly clines hearkens back to a game called Color Lines (the author of clines abbreviates it to “Lines”), which was available for Windows in 1995, and for MS-DOS in 1992. I can’t say that I recall ever playing it, but it is a decent puzzle challenge.
clines gives you full control over the dimensions of the board and the number of tokens that are placed and the number you need to connect. It also has options for color schemes, character schemes, control keys and even has a black-and-white mode, where different tokens are designated by distinct letters. It’s not as visually appealing, but you know how I am about color. 🙄
clines is a good puzzle game with an adequate amount of strategy, and has a faint flavor of Connect Four, or maybe some casual desktop games (gweled comes to mind). It’s not much of a challenge to your cerebral ability, but it does intrigue enough to keep you captivated for a while.
clines is not in Arch/AUR or Debian. I give clines itself acceptable marks for ease of play and highly customizable format. It uses color as a matter of necessity, which is good, but doesn’t take advantage of screen real estate unless you force unusual dimensions.
A satisfactory distraction, and a good game. Not the greatest, but good. 🙂