Chain Link HD iPad game will slink into your heart

Jul 7, 2010
Games

Chain Link HD ($1.99), originally developed for the iPhone by Software Beyond Limits, is a solid puzzle and beautifully designed game for the iPad with unlimited replay value. What makes this game work? The developers stuck to one simplified, core concept and paired it with smooth graphics. Despite having three distinct game modes–arcade, timed and […]

Chain Link HD ($1.99), originally developed for the iPhone by Software Beyond Limits, is a solid puzzle and beautifully designed game for the iPad with unlimited replay value. What makes this game work? The developers stuck to one simplified, core concept and paired it with smooth graphics.

Despite having three distinct game modes–arcade, timed and static–the goal in each is the same. The player needs to connect as many shapes of the same color, while avoiding collisions with other shapes, and flick them toward the vortex in the center of the screen. Adding more shapes to the link brings about higher point totals and well-deserved audio responses. This multi-touch game thrives on the iPad because the enlarged screen increases the player’s field of vision, providing more space to maneuver chains of shapes.

Timed mode comes off as the most difficult, since you must avoid both collisions and complete each round in a matter of seconds. Multi-touch allows for finishing a round faster. But be warned, you cannot combine like-shapes into one chain if you use multi-touch.

Static mode is the most successful because it relies less on frantic gameplay and more on strategy. Plus, if you play this mode in tandem with a ‘Normal’ level of difficulty, the rounds become timed, thus making it even more challenging. Also, this game uses a three-lives-per-game model, giving the player two second chances.

Chain Link HD boasts a whole host of unlockable power-ups, some that multiply the total score produced from one string of orbs and others with more specialized functions. Two of the more interesting power-ups are MiniShrink and Metamorph, both designed to make the overall linking process easier. MiniShrink, despite being a somewhat redundant name, reduces the orbs in size which makes navigating around other orbs easier for the player with clumsy fingers. Metamorph transforms every orb on the screen to a single color, which abridges the round considerably.

READ  The Quest for Quality Food Allergy Apps - #FoodAllergyAwarenessWeek

In order to unlock more power-ups, the player needs to complete additional quests. However, if you are totally impatient the developers have made all power-ups instantly unlockable through a 99 cent upgrade. Gamers might frown upon this in-game cheat, but this game is too casual an experience to be penalized for including it. Either way, the option does not cheapen the gameplay.

Chain Link HD can be played in four different levels of difficulty with the option of posting high scores online via OpenFeint. If you own an iPad, seriously consider downloading this drag-and-drop game.

Search for more

Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

    Home Apps Games