Developer: Danny Perski
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I jump at the chance to try a unique puzzle game. So when I saw that Exponential Invasion was a math-based puzzler with a simple interface, I had to give it a shot. The game is as simple as a puzzle game gets but it can be particular challenging and fun for people who like both math and maybe Sudoku puzzlers.

The basic goal of the game is to take over the blue numbers by adding up white numbers until they’re stronger than the blue. Larger white numbers can take over smaller white numbers to make the number larger (simple addition). Numbers can move in any of the nine spaces around them (including diagonals) and there are barriers between numbers to create obstacles. Users try to solve levels in the shortest amount of turns to receive three bombs (similar to Angry Birds three stars).

A quick note to all players: DON’T TOUCH THE SKULL AND CROSSBONES. The button at the top-right of the level select screen will reset all progress without warning or confirmation. Don’t press the button unless sure that the progress should be reset.

I was immediately annoyed that I couldn’t play the game in landscape mode. Close to 90% of the time, I prefer to use my iPad in landscape mode and my iPhone in portrait mode (exceptions: reading, typing, etc). If that’s the case for most people, nearly all apps should find a way for their universal apps to work in both portrait and landscape modes.

I noticed an annoying oversight when I was playing the game. When a number is pressed on accident (the player doesn’t actually want to move it), users have to tap the “x” button at the top-right corner of the screen to select another instead. With a touch device, players will want to simple tap somewhere else on the screen to unselect the number. It’s a command that works in nearly every other similar situation because it’s an intuitive gesture. Us touch device users are picky and obsessed with speed, having to tap an “x” button is tedious.

There are only 24 levels. There’s replay value because players can go back and try to finish each level with three bombs (the least amount of turns). But even after doing that, the total playtime of the game is relatively low for a $2.99 game. I finished the game (without getting three bombs on all) in less than a half hour. This is simply unacceptable. The game either needs more levels or a cheaper price.

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