Move over Candy Crush and Flappy Bird, we’ve got better stuff to do. Here are what I think of all the games on my iPhone right now, circa March 2014. (And I’ve included what my Mountain Dew-guzzling, constantly-gaming younger brother said when I showed this list to him.)
Dots: Dots is a cute “game about connecting.” In it, you connect the (pastel) dots to rack up points. It’s strangely addictive, and the little badges they give you as you reach certain achievements are definitely cute, but when I play this game I don’t really have any emotional investment. When I stop playing, I forget about it, probably due to the fact that after you’ve played it two or three times, you’ve done everything there is to do other than just maximize your score. There’s not really any sense of progress and there are no characters.
Overall, I think it deserves its sparkly high rating in the iTunes store, just due to how how fucking pretty it is but it’s not the first game I would recommend when asked. I like it, but I don’t love it.
What my bro said: “You are such a casual.”
(This means casual gamer. I’m still not sure why this is a bad thing.)
TicTactics: This game is everything you know about tic-tac-toe, but with the intensity turned up x100. In it, you are playing no less than nine simultaneous games of tic-tac-toe with your opponent, arranged in the shape of a giant tic-tac-toe board. Every time you place your x/o, it switches you into the corresponding smaller game, so even when you’re lined up for a winning turn, sometimes you have to pass it up. As a result, you end up with a game of tic-tac-toe that is actually mildly challenging, especially if you get really competitive about it. I’d recommend you play this game with whoever you would play Risk with…the more competitive you get, the more fun it is.
My main beef with this game is that in order to play with my friends, I had to connect using google+. (They give you the option of logging on with facebook, but I deactivated my account a little while ago.) Besides the obvious “UGH GOOGLE+” reaction, I had to wait for an update to fix an issue where you couldn’t actually log in with google+ but instead just got stuck in this infinite “please login, please login” loop.
What my bro said: “LEAGUE OF LEGENDS MAN, LEAGUE OF LEGENDS.”
The Sims FreePlay: I got the impressions that this game is really popular and loved, since I have heard people say good things about it both IRL and on the web, but I was not impressed. I’ve played a lot (A LOT) of Sims, but when given the choice between the early 2000’s Sims and this app I would choose the retro version. It felt cumbersome and boring, and the notifications annoyed me. (My Sims found cupcakes. Who cares?)
What my bro said: “Remember that time I beat you at Magic: The Gathering? That was great.”
Another Case Solved: I haven’t finished this game yet, but I’m kind of hooked. It’s a puzzle-game, but it follows the story of this detective (that’s you) who lives in a town where sugar has been made illegal. It’s full of all these sarcastic little quips and you can spend the money you earn from solving cases on decorating your office and primping in the mirror. Also, CANDY IS CURRENCY, how great is that?
As far as the puzzles go, you connect “clues” to try and get enough information to figure out whodunnit/where the thing you’re looking for is.
What my bro said: He just took a swig of Mountain Dew and rolled his eyes.
Don’t Look Back: So when I was reading the iTunes reviews on this, it seemed like people thought this was really easy, so obviously there is something wrong with me because I haven’t really been able to beat it. It’s got a bit of a retro feel, you’re a little pixelated guy running through a bleak red/black landscape, and you have to avoid or destroy all of the dangerous things that are trying to kill you. (Snakes, birds, falling pieces of rock, etc.) At least you get a tiny pixelated gun.
One thing I like about this is that if you die then it just bumps you back to the start of the scene, instead of needing to replay through tons of other stuff. One thing I don’t like about this is how agile your fingers need to be to really play this game successfully.
What my bro said: “That actually looks fun.”
pkpkt: OH MAN THIS GAME. Basically, you start out with a bunch of fake money, and when you run into another player you both have the opportunity to “pickpocket” each other to take their money. (This apparently works via bluetooth.) It’s not as popular as it deserves to be, because I think it’s fairly new. It’s meant to be played with real people, but I have yet to run into anybody who plays it IRL, which is the biggest downside. However, the recent updates have worked to make it more fun by using bots…these bots are called tourists and babies. (You can steal/be stolen from with the tourists and you can steal candy from babies.)
Even if the bots are fake, the adrenaline is real. I say a little prayer every day that this game gets more popular, and I’m considering putting up posters for it on campus so more people will play and I can crush everybody.
What my bro said: “That sounds like such a pain.”
Cool Pizza: My love for this game is intense. You play as a tall, badass babe who rides a skateboard around an apocalyptic landscape. All manner of flying creatures try to kill you, but you skate up ramps and slash them with your fucking katana in midair, like some sort of warrior goddess. These creatures include flies, coffins, tentacle-y things, and gigantic hands. Out of all the games on this list, this is my favorite, I recommend it to almost everybody I talk to.
What my bro said: “Ew, it’s powered by Unity.”
So there you have it. Despite what my videogame-snob of a brother says, this is what I think. When asked to rate my top three, I would probably say 1: Cool Pizza, 2: Another Case Solved, and 3: pkpkt.