Well, I decided to call this column the "Daily Double" because of EA's 25 Days Til Xmas Sale and Blacksmith Games' Appvent Calender, but EA has decided to mess me up by having two games on sale today: Auditorium and Surviving High School are both on sale for $0.99. Meanwhile, the Appvent Calender is featuring Totemo, a casual puzzle game with some nice graphics.
I actually played Auditorium for the first time last night, and let me say that this game is fantastic. It has all the polish of an EA app with the inventiveness of an indie game. It's hard to describe how the game works, but once you play it, everything is intuitive. It's a soothing puzzle game in which you divert beams of light into containers to create sound. The level designs are elegant, and there are multiple solutions to each stage. Once you complete a level, you're left with a "symphony of light and sound." It's beautiful and quirky, even if it is lacking a bit on content. (You can buy additional level packs via in-app purchase.)
Surviving High School is an app-store success in which you take on the role of a high-school student. There are the usual tribulations—fights, girl drama, and so on—that you'd expect of high school life. The App Store reviews are mostly positive, though many have complained about not being able to play as a girl; you can shape your character into jock or nerd, popular guy or hated outsider. Plus, each week brings a new "episode," introducing new content that replaces the old. It seems to have garnered quite the following.
The Appvent Calender is clearly working as a developer promotional tool; according to Blacksmith Games, the previous apps have all managed to surge into the Top 100 Free list. Today's offering is Totemo, a puzzle game with good graphics and a totem-pole theme, even if the gameplay isn't overly original (it's a twist on the math-3 formula). Totemo includes both a Story mode and a frenetic Survival mode, and should be worth a download for puzzle fans.