You've played memory before, right? That old chestnut of a game where you turn over cards one by one, trying to match pairs so you can remove them from the board. Well, how about memory mixed with the excitement of an arcade game? Fruitiny is a puzzle/memory game from Totano Corp. centered around this very mechanic, challenging you to turn over tiles, match pairs, and do it all with an increasingly fast rhythm. It's a simple concept illustrated with fantastic flair, and it's just the sort of game you can get hooked on. Plus: delicious pixel fruit!
Fruitiny plays out in a series of levels with a number of face-down tiles strewn about the screen. Tap a tile to turn it over, revealing a picture. You can tap multiple tiles at a time or even drag your finger across the screen to overturn groups, but since tiles automatically flip themselves back over, it's usually best to stick to a few at a time. Make a note of where each fruit piece is located, then try to make matches as quickly as you can. Each time you clear the screen you move on to the next level, upping the complexity and maybe even adding new pieces of fruit to locate!
To make matching sets, tap an overturned card or double tap one that's face down. Once you have a card selected, subsequent tiles you flip will show a question mark instead of fruit, meaning if you don't complete a pair, you're going to waste precious time. The green bar at the top gradually decreases while you're not making matches, so keep the cards turning whenever possible. Making a match causes a handful of adjacent tiles to turn over for a moment, allowing you to make chain reactions that increase both your score and the time remaining in the level. You do want a high score and more time to play, don't you?
Analysis: Fruitiny is a game you'll play over and over again. You'll make it through 30 or 40 levels, flub up and lose, then start all over again. Your high scores will gradually increase the more you play, and the little fruit meter on the title screen will fill with new things you've discovered. A few small curve balls are thrown in from time to time, such as the evil monster tiles or the octopus tile that turns over everything on the screen for a few moments, but otherwise it's just straightforward arcade matching. There are even achievements to earn, which as far as we're concerned is just an extra bonus on an already attractive game.
The biggest danger in Fruitiny is moving faster than your own hand. It may sound unusual, but a certain rhythm gets established in this game, encouraging fast moves alternating with taking mental snapshots of fruit positions. Act too fast and you risk selecting a tile prematurely, too slow and you waste valuable time. The solution is to make a match, watch any resulting tile flips, jump in with more matching, watch the tiles, repeat.
Fruitiny has the same sort of appeal as games like Bejeweled. The concept is simple but it's so playable and so enjoyable you'll keep the game around for months, playing rounds from time to time to see if you can best your previous score. It really feels like a brain workout with the quick recall methodology. No crazy gimmicks or in-app purchases to distract you from having fun, Fruitiny is a straightforward game that will quickly secure a place on your mobile device's home screen!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.