App of the day: Compulsive review (iPhone)
Sometimes simple is best and Compulsive - the colour-matching puzzle game that's against the clock - is as stripped-back as they come. Few ingredients make for the perfect taste though and even the game's title rings true in a self-declaration of truth: Compulsive is a game you'll find yourself digging back into time and time again.
There are lots of "match 'em up" apps out there. Orbs, blocks, sweets - you name it and it's probably already in an app. But there's something about the match-up concept that seems inately drilled in to the human mind. Compulsive taps into this.
At its most simple the game is nothing more than a series of squares arranged in a grid on the screen. Click to drag individual squares next to ones of the same colour anywhere on the screen and you've solved half the puzzle. Match four or more together and you've pretty much cracked the whole thing. Simple yet effective - anyone could play this game.
Matched-up squares explode away in confetti-like animation, their absence causing the above squares to slip down into their place and, Tetris-style, you can then work up massive combos by striking the fuse with one match, setting off a chain reaction of many more for bigger points.
Points might not mean prizes, but they do mean self-satisfaction. After a minute has spilled from the clock that's it - game over. In that short period you'll want to match up and get as many multipliers as possible to beat your previous score. It starts to become an excercise in self betterment and each failed attempt to beat your previous high score feels like a miniature failure - enough so to get you back and playing more and more.
And that's it. No gimmicks, no story, nothing much else really. A menu screen, a how to play, scoreboard and play button are as deep as this game goes. The rest of it is up to you to dig in and get matching. A commuter's dream, one that's colourful, crisp and clear and also free to download. There's no excuse to not pick this little gem up.