In the innovative puzzle game PINCH, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, players must guide little colored balls, called Norbs, through mazes; overcoming obstacles by PINCHing them apart to separate them into smaller Norbs, and PINCHing them together to merge them into larger Norbs. The game was re-released with new art and polish late in 2012 by publisher Miniclip.


Pinch is a critically-acclaimed puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod Touch (also works on iPad), developed by Coatsink Software.

It features the 'Norbs'; tiny balls that can alter their size and color by merging with one another. The player uses the multi-touch interface of the platform to guide the Norbs through mazes and past obstacles.

The 'Pinch'

The merging and separating element is the key to passing some of these obstacles. The merging is simple - whenever a Norb touches another Norb, they will merge. The separating is performed when a player 'pinches' a Norb apart, pulling it into smaller pieces - this maneuver is crucial to success in the game, as well as serving as the title's namesake.

Players will be familiar with performing the pinch maneuver in other iOS applications, such as Google Maps and Safari.


Each individual Norb is one of the three primary colors - Red, Green or Blue. When they merge with one another, their colors mix as they do on the light spectrum. For example, when two individual green and blue Norbs merge, they form a size 2 cyan Norb.

When two individual green and red Norbs merge, they form a size 2 yellow Norb. And if another individual red Norb were to merge with this size 2 yellow Norb, the result would be a size 3 orange Norb.

In-game, the player must work out each color combination in order to pass color-based obstacles (color barriers). It's worth noting that these barriers have visual representations of how to create the required color on them, in the same way that a merged Norb represents each individual Norb contained within it: with 1-5 individual red, green and/or blue dots in the center of the Norb.

There are a total of 12 potential colors in the game, and white (a size 3 combination of red, green and blue). A white Norb can pass any color barrier - a game mechanic which must be used to surpass some of the more tricky levels.

Size and color

These 13 potentials can all be created by size 1, 2 or 3 Norbs. However, Norbs can merge up to a maximum of size 5. Beyond size 3, whatever the color was/would be at size 3 becomes 'dominant' at size 4 and 5 (not including white). This was implemented during design in order to avoid confusion because of 'dirty' colors at higher mixture levels (slightly darker yellows, etc). This limitation accidentally brought about the gameplay technique of 'smuggling', where, for example, a size 4 orange Norb could smuggle an extra green past a color barrier that would otherwise not allow it past.

Size-based obstacles

Despite being simpler to the game than color, size plays a big role. Norbs will have to pass holes that require them to be a certain size, or larger; gates which require them to be smaller, or split into individuals; countdown gates, which only allow a certain number of passes before closing permanently; and combinations of all of these.


  • Suitable for gaming beginners, intermediates and veterans
  • 48 levels included with original release (80+ by later versions)
  • Original music and sound effects
  • Planned updates, extra levels and other DLC options
  • Openfeint/Game Center Leaderboards and Achievements


Pinch features music by Vince Webb, a London-based composer, and sound effects by Kaamossound from Finland.


Pinch has seen several updates since its initial release. These included art revisions/improvements, bug fixes and level pack additions. Pinch 2 HD, the iPad-only sequel, received a similarly warm reception from critics. Both games were featured in The Guardian in the UK, and named as 'App of the Day' by The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).

The original Pinch has recently disappeared from the App Store for redevelopment as part of a latent publishing deal. It is expected to return in 2012.

The game was re-released with new art and polish late in 2012 by publisher Miniclip.