Developer: Plexonic
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.2.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Despite all its mysterious gypsy antics, Cassandra’s 11 is really just a simple, straightforward card game. For a game about seeing the future, that can seem pretty dated. It’s not bad, but it could afford to be a little more forward-looking.

With an exotic fortune teller beckoning players to come inside, and decks named after the elements, one may expect Cassandra’s 11’s cards to be of the tarot variety. But no, they’re just playing cards. At the top of the play field is a row of chests, and to unlock them players must destroy the grid of cards directly beneath them. Matching cards that add up to 11 causes them to disappear, but there’s more to it than simple addition. Combining more than two cards leaves row-clearing flame cards. Later decks feature frozen cards that need to be in multiple combos to shatter. Effectively managing multi-card combos quickly becomes the game’s most important skill.

IMG_0575[1]IMG_0576[1]Meanwhile, each stage has a move limit so players must stay focused on determining what paths lead to the chests the fastest. This creates fun tension that makes players carefully consider their cards and options. They will have to look beyond the obvious solutions of the usually symmetrical board layout to discover a better answer. Poor play can actually lead to no-win scenarios where players are forced to restart. Unfortunately, this also means losing a life and the only way to get it back is to wait or pay up. This isn’t the biggest freemium offense, but it’s unwanted nonetheless especially as puzzles get trickier. Increasing its difficulty is the only way the game can stave off inevitable monotony though, and even then playing through dozens of levels of nothing but tedious number-crunching might still permanently burn the number 11 into players’ skulls.

What ultimately gives Cassandra’s 11 its charms though is, unsurprisingly, Cassandra herself. After clearing 11 stages, players can cash in their in-game earnings for a session with this lovely oracle. With topics like love, family, and career, the feature is nothing but a horoscope. But it’s such an odd, almost incongruous feature that it’s hard not to smile at Cassandra’s random predictions.

Cassandra’s 11 really belongs in a casino where its glorified solitaire gameplay and occasional fortune teller gimmick would be more appreciated. On the App Store though, its future is much foggier.

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