Developer: Triniti
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3

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

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

IMG_0232Triniti’s Gamebox (sorry, but I’m forgoing the caps-lock) currently contains fifteen games for the bargain-bin price of $1. I’m not going to lie; a lot of these games are the kind of shallow mini-games you’d expect in a bargain pack. However, a few of them are good, namely Ancient War and Bowman Defense, and with a few decent ones to accompany them, the $1 price tag makes the Gamebox a great bargain.

The games included are: Ancient War, Bowman Defense, Jailbreaker, King Fish, iSniper, Operation iWolf, 1945 Ace Destroyer, 2009 Road Master, 321! Jump!, Bubble Master, iSign Fortunetelling 365, iUFO Catcher, Climber, Get Rich, and Hell Flyer.

Here’s the thing about all of them, sans Ancient War: they’re simple. Most of these are actually too simple to justify being sold as stand-alone apps, and Triniti knows this; in fact, Jailbreaker, Climber, and Hell Flyer are already available for free. iSniper is dull, Get Rich, and Bubble Master are all dull, and iSign Fortunetelling 365 barely counts as a game.

IMG_0233So, no, the Gamebox isn’t a humongous bargain. But it’s still a bargain, and here’s why: Ancient War on its own is great, and well worth the $0.99. The other games—the ones that are decent, like Bowman Defense, iUFO Catcher, and Hell Flyer—make up a collection of mini-games that might not be worth money in their own right, but are actually pretty fun given that you can bounce between them.

I’ve already reviewed Ancient War, a game in which you take your tribe to war against others in a castle-defense game combined with offensive components. I gave it a solid 4-star review; once you unlock awesome weapons like dinosaurs and catapults for your army, the fun really kicks in. Plus, it’s gained a multiplayer mode since I reviewed it. While it still suffers from a bit of lag and doesn’t cooperate if you put your iPod into lock mode, it’s still a great title.

IMG_0223Of the remaining games, my next-favorite is Bowman Defense, which is just a castle-defense game in which you (an archer) have to take aim at approaching enemies. You drag your finger to aim and fire your bow, and you gain special arrow types as the game progresses. It’s nothing complicated, but it is fun. Unfortunately, the controls are a bit difficult to master, and the game is pretty repetitive, especially compared to other castle defense games in the App Store.

There are a few other entertaining ones, too. iUFO Catcher is a crane-game…you know, like the ones in arcades that are always stuffed with plush animals and other hard-to-grab stuff. The addition of multiple, moving tiers makes it surprisingly fun. Hell Flyer is a neat grappling-hook swinging game that feels like one of those Flash games that you keep on playing despite their simplicity. However, even the simplest of mini-games needs one basic feature: a local high-score list. I mean, really, not being able to compete against your own records saps some of the fun out of these games. Though the game calculates a score, your high score can only be viewed from the Gamebox’s launch page, not from within each game.

Then, of course, there are some dull games included that I’d delete in a second if they were taking up space on my iPod’s home screen. The Doodle Jump clone 123! Jump! falls into this category, along with Sign Fortunetelling 365, Bubble Master, iSniper, and 1945 Ace Destroyer.

IMG_0227So, the bottom line? Yes, Triniti’s ALL-IN-1 GAMEBOX (phew, obnoxious caps) is worth buying…but only as long as it stays at this rock-bottom price, unless they add another killer game to the mix. Getting one good game at its normal price, with a bunch of mediocre ones for no extra charge? Yup, that sounds just fine by me.

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