This week was a little tougher for me because I spent much more time playing one game than the other, but here are two new free games you can check out on the iPhone.
Caveboy Escape – AppXplore
Caveboy Escape challenges you with hundreds of clever, time-pressing match-3 and connecting tile puzzles.
Innovative Puzzle Gameplay
The point of the game is to get Caveboy out of the labyrinth. You do this by dragging your finger across 3 matching tiles at a time, connecting multiple matches in order to reach the exit. These puzzles can prove challenging at times, which is exactly what I’d want from a game like this. Sometimes I would almost be at the exit, only to find out that I’m one square shy of reaching it. Then I have to backtrack and find the proper path. By the time I make it back to the exit, I’ve lost too much time to get all 3 stars. Nothing makes me want to replay a level more than missing that third star by just a couple of seconds.
Tons of Stages
There are so many stages that the game seems endless. I haven’t completed all of them yet, and I’m not sure I will. But they do get more and more difficult, which makes the game more and more fun.
A Fun Challenge
Caveboy Escape is fresh, challenging and fun. If you’re into puzzle games, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
Disco Zoo – NimbleBit
Our second game this week comes from one of my favorite mobile game developers, NimbleBit. NimbleBit is responsible for extremely popular build-and-manage time-wasters such as Pocket Planes and the Tiny Tower games.
Release Your Inner Kid
You’re given a quick and satisfying tutorial at the beginning of the game that gets your zoo started. The only two critical gameplay mechanics are finding and “rescuing” animals and keeping them awake.
Build Your Zoo… With Puzzles
You save up money to buy transportation to different regions later in the game, but at the first of the game you’re provided with a hot air balloon to travel to the farm. Rescuing animals is a fun little mini game.
You’re given a limited amount of tries to find the animals. To rescue an animal, you must find them by discovering certain patterns in the blocks. The good thing is that the individual animals always have the same pattern, so it’s just a matter of finding that first block. After a while, you’ll memorize the animals’ patterns. Sometimes you can manage to rescue every animal, but sometimes it’s nearly impossible. If you run out of tries, you can always purchase more Disco Bux (similar to the Bux in the Tiny Tower games) to get more attempts.
Free-To-Play Done Right – As Always
Any free-to-play game is going to have microtransactions, but NimbleBit does it right. I never felt like my experience was hindered because I didn’t feel like spending any real money. It can be a pain to save up the required amount of coins in order to purchase new transportation, but that’s what these management games are about.
Typical NimbleBit Play, Wait, Play
The more animals you have, the more money you make, but only while your animals are awake. Nobody wants to go to the zoo and see sleeping unicorns (yes, there are unicorns). Each animal pin has a timer that counts down until they fall asleep. Once they’re asleep, they stop making your zoo money. So it’s up to you to wake them back up. This is where NimbleBit forces the player back into the game after they’ve been away for a while, which is fine with me. NimbleBit has become a favorite of mine in the free-to-play genre because of this reason. I’ve always been very content to play, wait, and go back to play again.
This game is full of cute and clever dialogue, which is no surprise from NimbleBit. When you’re just sitting around waiting for your customers to tip you, you’ll see them say some surprisingly funny things. There are developer inside jokes and references to movies such as someone saying “that’ll do,” to your pigs.
It’s A Disco Party!
One incredibly cute and fun addition to the sleeping mechanic is the Disco Parties. You can spend Disco Bux to activate a Disco Party – spend more amounts of Bux to host longer Parties – that will not only have every character, human and animals alike, “getting down,” but your animals will stay awake during the entire Party. If you’re tired of constantly watching over your animals, spend about 10 Bux and host a 1-hour long party! Your animals also generate money twice as fast. Plus, it’s funny to watch everyone have a good time.
A Groovy, Puzzling Week
It’s obvious that I liked Disco Zoo better than Caveboy this week… but they’re both pretty good games if you need a free, quick fix. Sorry there was such a big gap between this post and my last one. I was working on my Cause of Death review, which you should check out if you dig text-based, interactive fiction and criminal psychology stories.
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