We are certain that our Kindle-toting brothers and sisters are sometimes neglected, and in need of some extra game review love. To remedy this, Hardcore Droid has engaged the Kindle Featured Apps, especially the Free App of the Day. Our resident Kindle expert par excellence, Jen Schiller, is downloading the free feature every day as well as at least one game from among the Featured games. Jen will train a hardcore gamer’s eye on each and every one of them and report back to you with which of their number are worth your time. For the Kindle owners whose e-Reader sees more games than books, this will be the weekly roundup not to be missed.
As most Kindle owners know, every day Amazon’s Kindle store features a handful of apps including a highlighted app for free download. To meet the challenge of assessing each and every one and report back to HD readers as to which ones were worthy of their time, I checked in every day, downloaded the free game, and then chose another featured app or two to try. At the end of the week, the best games were determined by which I hadn’t deleted yet (pretty simple qualification). I determined which ones to keep based on a few different criteria, which were decided on after I played each of the games for multiple hours and through most of their “main” game modes. The first of the criteria is simple: none of the games require in-app purchases at any time. Moreover, the games had to have some unique element to their gameplay, a variety in their levels, and excellent replay value at the very least.
See last week’s Kindle Review here.
App of the week overall:
Flappy48 (free): This game is insanely hard and has me grinding my teeth with anger…but by the gods I WILL beat it one day. Flappy48 is a crossover game between Flappy Bird and 2048. Here, though, the flying object is a number and you must successfully navigate between columns to combine the numbers and reach 2048. If you have played either game on their own, you will know they’re hard enough solo—but combined they become maddeningly difficult. My highest score so far is 16—but like the original 2048 I will not stop playing until I win.
Featured Free App of the Week:
Clobbr (normally $ .99): I like Whac A Mole. Most people in arcades do. Clobbr is a Whac A Mole game…kind of…where a little monster inexplicably becomes involved in the protection of mice who are being chased by a cat. The monster’s at the top of the screen, mice and cat at the bottom. In order to chase the cat away you must hit a rock that falls, following arrows you have lined up to direct it to the cat’s head. At first the arrows only go up and down, left and right. But soon diagonal arrows are added, and then trampolines to let the dropping rock bounce over boulders. Clobbr is fun to play because it has variety, and when the new challenges aren’t explained they’re instinctive enough to figure out. Plus, the game gets more difficult the longer you play—each level is timed but the timer gets shorter as the puzzles get harder!
Featured App of the Week:
Polyhedron Runner (normally $.99): This game took me a second to figure out how it worked, but once I did I was completely hooked. With a little better tutorial, perhaps including a video example, this would have easily been the top game of the week. It’s a simple enough game mechanic—there’s a polyhedron that comes zooming at you from outer space. You have to twist the polyhedron so that the empty side is pointing toward your floating white piece in the middle of the screen. Then another polyhedron is inside the first, again with a missing panel, again with the twisting. And again, and again and again. As you progress, the polyhedrons zoom faster and faster, and your only competition is your last best score.
Best Free Game of the Week:
Red Herring: Red Herring is an interesting word game. You get four columns, each with four words in them. Three of the columns have a category, the fourth is where the “red herrings” go. There are three levels of difficulty: “safe harbor”, “smooth sailing” and “deep water”—easy, normal, and hard, respectively. In easy, all three category names are at the top of the columns. Three words are already placed in the first column and two are in the second. In medium you aren’t given titles but the five words are still in place. In hard, none of the words are in place and no categories are named. This is the level when the red herrings can really throw you off. There are no time limits, no penalties for making wrong guesses, and if you ever get too stuck you can restart individual levels at different difficulties. You can buy more than the initial 50 levels for .99 per pack, but are not required to spend anything. You can also use your eight freebie clues or buy unlimited clues for $1.99. While this would normally disqualify a game, I really like Red Herring and after playing it for a week still haven’t even made it through half the initial puzzle pack.
Let down of the week:
Pettson’s Inventions (normally $1.99): This is clearly a game designed for kids—but it doesn’t have to be that way! Pettson shows you a picture and tells you in a speech bubble the invention you’re supposed to design with the spare parts he’s given you. Through Rube Goldberg-style machines you can help little animals get their tea or run from monsters or help an old lady out with her rocking chair. All sorts of silly things happen and as you beat each level you collect multi-colored gears that are essential for the “bonus rounds”. But once you’ve beaten all the rounds, that’s it. No replay value, no extra animals who need my help. I sat down with Pettson’s Inventions and beat the whole game in about two hours. I was having so much fun I hadn’t even noticed the time passing. Having gotten the game as a featured app I was not so disappointed, but if I’d paid $1.99 for this tiny game, I would be severely upset at the end of it all.