Mobile Monday


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Mobile Monday

JohnBArt meets history meets puzzles meets airports in this edition of Mobile Monday! We're still giving away iTunes gift certificates for the cost of every game featured in the current Mobile Monday article. Simply sign-in with a Casual Gameplay account, leave a comment giving feedback about one of the games, then check back the week after to see if you've won. Simple! Congratulations to last week's winner, Mr Seb!

primroseiphone.jpgPrimrose - A new puzzle game from developer Jason Rohrer, the mind behind Gravitation and Passage. Two colored, connected squares appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap the grid above to place the first square, then tap any open space in the same column or row to place the second square. The goal is to surround one color with squares of another color. The idea is simple, but like any good puzzle game, mastering its intricacies are an entirely different matter. Fortunately for us mere mortals the high score board features playbacks of the most talented Primrose players, allowing you to watch their strategies and make them your own. It's a surprisingly deep and varied puzzle game that's well-worth your time!

luxdlx.gifLux DLX - The downloadable Risk-like strategy game comes in a number of flavors for Mac, Windows and Linux, such as the previously reviewed American History Lux. Now you have the power of troop movement-based world conquest in your grubby little hands! Simply tap to move your armies to adjacent territories, taking over rival colors as you please. Over 50 maps and devious computer AI make this one a clear winner in the strategy catetory. A free version, Lux Touch, is also available.

airportmaniaiphone.gifAirport Mania: First Flight - Another casual game makes the transition from computer to iPhone/iPod Touch, Airport Mania is Reflexive Entertainment's killer time management game with cute airplanes and innovative, rewarding gameplay. Tap a plane to set it down on a runway, then move it to a gate to start unloading passengers. If it needs fuel or repairs, send it to the appropriate garage, otherwise it's back to the runway and into the skies. Chain together multiple landings/takeoffs for massive combo points, and marvel as the planes hum and whistle as they go about their business. An excellent port of an already excellent game.

metasquares.jpgMetaSquares - A simple but elegant capture-based puzzle game where you take turns placing pieces with the computer. Your goal is to create squares by capturing four corners. The catch is that you can do this at any angle, opening up a wide range of possibilities. A free browser version is also available if you want to get a feel for the puzzle before buying.

NOTE: Games listed may not be available outside of North America. Prices are subject to change and are therefore unlisted. Please see the individual game pages for purchasing info.

14 Comments

Prices as of the time of this comment:
Primrose........$2.99
Lux DLX.........$7.99
Airport Mania...$0.99
Metasquares.....$0.99

MetaSquares (in the browser, at least) is fun. But the difficulty ramps up too quickly. Level one is too easy, level 2 is a little hairy, but by level 3, the computer is just too smart. Unless it is meant to be played more like chess, then I guess that's fine.

Lux Touch, by itself, was an addictive game. Mind you, I'm a sucker for Risk-type games in general so the ability to play it anywhere is just problematic for my productivity.

Lux DLX takes that basic formula and makes it so much better. The simple ability to not lose your game because you have to do something else is a winner, as is the zoom/scroll are basic additions that make the game so much better.

Being able to choose the AIs you play against helps you decide if you want to fight it out with one strong opponent or have the most cut-throat game possible. And hot-seat multi-player means a good war game in the back seat of a car without all the pieces flying everywhere.

I haven't really gotten into the variety of the maps, since I'm a bit of a traditionalist, but if I get bored of simple world domination I can always set out to conquer Mars. :-D

100% recommended for anyone who likes this type of game! And if you think you might, you can always try out Lux Touch to help decide.

I've had Lux Touch for ages, but it's gotten to the point where I can win every single game without any difficulty. I can't wait to get Lux DLX! Thanks for reviewing it; I had no clue it was out!

Metasquares is a fun little quick time waster. Haven't exactly figured out what the winning conditions are, but I like it a lot!

Winning condition for Metasquares is be the first to 150 points, but you must win by at least 15 points.

And it is played like chess where every move is strategized and planned for in advance.

I'm up to level 8 (app version). And the nice thing is that if you lose, you stay at the same level until you beat it.

We waited to feature Lux DLX until the recent update last week, which included a much needed speed improvement.

Now it's as fast as Lux Touch, a much smaller, lighter weight app.

Definitely one of the best apps out there, and oh so addictive.

Seems like Lux DLX is still a little slower than Lux Touch (too many graphics niceties maybe?), but way, way worth it. Being able to change the game options (in particular, the bonus army numbers when cashing in cards) makes it so much more enjoyable!

Great game.

Lux touch is so addicting. I'm very tempted to get the DLX version. And as for metasquares, I don't really get it. Maybe my sense of shape is horrible, but how do you plan for the rotated squares?

Woah! Thanks for the gift certificate, Jay! (now how do I get it? :-D)
Definitely a sweet incentive from Mobile Mondays.

As a somewhat long-time fan of Lux on Mac, I was happily surprised that they made the step to the iPhone / iPod. In a way, it feels almost due : such a mix of strategy and simple action was *calling* for casual, mobile gaming!

Judging from the Lux Touch version, my two (small) disappointments would be that:
- having to scroll through maps (or zoom out too much) doesn't give a proper general picture, crucial on large or complex maps.
- armies placement/attack lack control; it's often all or nothing.
This being said it remains a great game, and the downloadable extra maps in the full version should give it a HUGE replay value.
If they could implement a multiplayer feature like in desktop versions, it would bring a final and very addicting twist to an already must-have game!

Going to try Metasquares now!

[Edit: I've sent an email to the address you used when creating your Casual Gameplay account. Look for it there. :) -Jay]

Interesting mix this week. I always like to see what new games you have on mobile Monday.

Primrose is a fun game, reminds me of some DS game that seems to never have come out?
Does Primrose eventually start adding new colors? I died before that happened but the boxes at the bottom make me curious.

MetaSquares is also pretty fun except after enough dots I really struggle to see the squares, especially the slightly crooked ones (not parallel to the sides of the playing field but not a diamond either). Gotta play this one more :)

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