Developer: The App House
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece is another addition to the brain heavy puzzle genre that has recently exploded in the app store. These puzzle centered games focus on challenge after challenge, with splashes of story in between to bring it all together. Simon Graham follows this formula to the letter, and comes out being an enjoyable addition to the genre.

The story is text based, and the challenges are a splashing of word, math, hidden object, maze, and various other styles to keep the game play fresh. The challenges are exceedingly easy at the beginning and continue to elevate in difficulty as the story progresses. The puzzles are extremely interactive and well designed.

There are some minor issues that I have with Simon Graham, however. The options menu allows for the skipping of word and math problems, but if you’re stuck on any of the other challenges; you’re reduced to selecting each of the answers arbitrarily, until one of them comes up correct. This isn’t so bad, but a specific problem is worded in such a way that even after going through the problem four or five times, and having multiple people look at the problem, the answer the game said is correct did not match the question the game asked. This takes a serious level of enjoyment away from the game.

While the story is well thought out, it just always feels like it’s forced, and some of the puzzles just seem out of place in the whole scheme of the story. Rather than build the story with the puzzles in mind, it seems like the puzzles were designed and the story was forced into the structure. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it takes away from the overall experience. There also seems to be no tracking of how many attempts you make on a story, how often you skip a puzzle, or any real statistical tracking at all.

Despite these minor issues, Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece Book 1 HD is a solid addition to a growing genre of games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch lineup. With a price of $1.99 for the HD version, there isn’t much reason not to give it a try. Check out the lite version if you want to be sure.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

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