This post is from the now defunct website “A GameDev Plays…”, copied here for posterity
Chains is a casual 2D game about linking together balls of the same colour. Not much more to say really, it is a simple, yet entertaining puzzle game.
Ok, there is a little bit more to say. In Chains the player drags the mouse across at least three balls close to each other, thus linking them. When the chain is complete, all the balls in it disappear. There is no upper limit on the length of the chain, usually longer is better. The objective changes depending on the puzzle. Sometimes it is to create a chain of a particular length, or maybe it is just not lose too many balls off the edge of the screen over some time period - a few minutes at most. There is a 2D physics engine in the game so the balls may bounce around the screen due to various items placed in the level. Using this model the game creates streams, scales, pendulums and other models in some levels.
There are twenty levels in the game, each with a single puzzle and requires the previous level to be completed before it unlocks. Given the range of puzzle types, this means it is easy to become stuck for a while on a level. However, given enough tries an average player can complete every level, even if it takes a little luck. The game is not dominated by randomness, but there is some chance involved in which coloured balls appear.
Usually the player will know where they went wrong in a failed level. In the timed levels, victory is often very close when the end comes. This gives a real sense of just one more attempt, just one more level. The graphics and the production values are at an acceptable standard. This is a game that just does one thing well. It is an enjoyable little game. Now there is nothing more to say.
Chains is available on the Steam store for PC and Mac at US$4.99. It has been bundled.