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Review: Ten Squared

January 29, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 3:23 PM

Category: Games
Dot Next snc
Price: $ 0.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 3.0 or later
Version: 1.1.3

What's good: If you're into logic puzzles, then Ten Squared might just be the perfect app to have. Conceptualized by Dot Next, this challenging and highly original strategy game is truly unlike others that build on all too familiar concepts. Admittedly, the game borrows elements from chess and sudoku, but at its core is a refreshingly creative idea that manifests in two game modes - 'Bridge' and 'Knight.' In each, there are six progressively difficult levels to play - these correspond to grids that span from 5 x 5 squares to 10 x 10 ones. Both have the same objective, which is to fill the entire table with numbers that range from 1 to 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, and 100 depending on your level. The difference is that in Bridge, you can only place the next number 2 squares away horizontally or vertically and 1 square away diagonally, while in Knight, movement is limited to the classic L move in chess (make an L shape by penciling in your number two squares up or down and another square to the right or left). That's pretty much all there is to it, but trust us when we say that you'll probably spend days or even weeks figuring out the puzzles. Not only will you need a considerable amount of trial-and-error runs, it's an absolute requirement that you have at least a few ounces of logic to actually realize when you make a fatal mistake, erase your way back some paces, and avoid a catastrophic failure that will otherwise mean a complete restart. Sooner or later, you're bound to see the much longed for 'Passed' stamped across the page, and then you can either move on to the next brain-twisting adventure or try to get a faster time to move up the global highscore rankings. Apart from setting a new standard in the mindbender genre, this one-of-a-kind game's crisp classroom theme - complete with paper textures, random scribbles, handwritten text, and pencil shavings - creates an atmosphere that perfectly complements and enhances gameplay. It doesn't really matter where you are or how long you want to play, because this game was built to be enjoyed anytime.

Suggestions for improvement: Ten Squared definitely brings something different to the table, but we wish there were more features to make it more exciting. Unlockable bonuses that can help you with the puzzle (by revealing the position of the next number, for example) would really add to the gaameplay. As it is, the game is a bit too difficult and doesn't leave much space for mistakes.

Graphics - 4/5 Creativity - 4.5/5 Gameplay - 4.5/5 Controls - 5/5
App-reciation - 4.5/5

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