A new game....just what the iPhone needs!
Actually, a little side note. I approach my iPhone as mostly an entertainment device. So while I will find, use (and review) useful productivity, utility, or lifestyle apps (or other categories) by far the category I am most interested in is games. I would guess that at least 70% of my downloads are games. Anyway, on to the review.
Frenzic is a frantic, fast paced strategy game, simple in concept, but one that can provide lots of enjoyment (frantic + frenzy = frenzic!). In Frenzic, your goal is to put little pie-shaped wedges into various circles, filling the circles. For anyone who has played Trivial Pursuit (where is that game for the iPhone?) the shapes look just like the pie pieces from there!
Anyway, the pie pieces come in three colors - orange, green/yellow, and purple. As you move along, you can try to organize the pieces by color, but you aren't required to (Thank GOD!). If you do fill a circle with pie pieces that are the same color, you get more points, an extra life, and a power-up (more on that later). If you fill a circle with mixed colors, you just get some points.
The game starts off slow - presenting you with one piece of a pie, and 6 empty circles to fill. A timer (around the center) indicates how much time you have left to move that piece. If you run out of time, you lose a life. Lose all your lives and the game is over.
As you progress, you have less and less time to use a piece (at least it felt that way, I didn't actually time it). Eventually (trust me, it will happen) you will get to frazzled to find a place to put the piece, and you will lose your last life.
As I said, when you fill a circle with pie-pieces that are the same color, you get a bonus life, more points, and a power-up. The power ups have to be manually activated, and come in three varieties - double points, slow down, or nuke. Double points give you, as you might expect, double points for a limited time. Slow down simply slows the timer down for a while. And nuke simply clears some the board. Unfortunately you are not given the choice of which power up you get, nor can you stockpile them to save up (I know, I tried). Although you can't stockpile them, you can pick up a powerup while you are currently using one.
In the settings, you can control the various aspects of the game - sound, music, vibration, etc. You can also activate "advance piece" which allows you to move to the next piece costing you a life (but not having to wait for the time to run out).
You also have the option of uploading scores, which I didn't participate in, but some people may enjoy. It would be nice to see a head-to-head match ability via wifi, giving people the same pieces and seeing how they do with them (or people using the same board, filling each otherís spaces to foil their moves!). There are lots of options for a multiplayer, and I would hope to see something in that vein in the future. There is also no difficulty setting - it would be nice to be able to choose easier (with only two colors) or harder (with four colors).
This is a fun game. The graphics are simple but crisp and clean, and the background sounds and music work well with the game. The responsiveness is great, and while it is not a game to play to relax, it certainly is one the shows a high level of replay-ability.
Pros: Nice graphics, simple concept, addicting
Cons: No multiplayer
All in all, this is a fun game, and may very well make its way onto the first three pages of my iPhone (where I keep "my apps" as opposed to apps I am reviewing). It is fun, fast paced, and easy to pick up. It is currently on sale for $1.99 (during the "holiday season") but it is normally $4.99. My rating is based on the current price - for the "normal" price, people may consider it overpriced. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.