Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Pairs is a game that most of us have played from a very young age. It’s good for child development, plus it’s kind of fun. DUO! takes that concept and makes it that bit harder and more entertaining. Its focus might be on being fun for kids, but adults can glean some satisfaction from it as well.
Starting out, you’re playing Pairs as usual - matching up corresponding numbers and moving onto the next stage. Notably, you’re frequently only given a set number of moves with which to do this. Early on it's not hard to keep to, but that’s where DUO!’s later challenge emerges. Soon enough, you have to match up a number of pairs but with only a few moves at your disposal. At times it feels a bit unfair, almost random, in its execution and when it comes to any good chance of success. Some strategy is involved at least, such as stages where cards are underneath other cards often requiring a little more thought than the easier, earlier stages.
You find yourself coming back either way, as DUO! is simple yet satisfying. However it works on a lives system, meaning you have to wait for the bar to recharge in order to take another turn or pay for an in-app purchase. That’s a little infuriating given that DUO! already costs $1.99, but a spinning wheel sometimes gives you free lives to tide you over. In a similar manner, there are power-ups that can be purchased as well, making things noticeably easier, but again these cost money.
Still, dodging the fact that DUO! is quite aggressively priced, it’s still a fairly enjoyable game. Pairs is simple but this title manages to mix things up sufficiently so that it’s not too samey. It won’t have mass appeal, but it’s still oddly satisfying as you work your way through the various stages, watching as things get more challenging.