iPhone game Geared might throw a wrench into your productivity

Dec 14, 2010
Games

I am not handy. I don’t really know how this could be. I have brothers who are mechanically inclined, and I grew up watching Home Improvement before dinner. Given those facts, it seems a tad embarrassing that I couldn’t tell a monkey wrench from monkey bars, but the Geared app at least is making me […]

I am not handy. I don’t really know how this could be. I have brothers who are mechanically inclined, and I grew up watching Home Improvement before dinner. Given those facts, it seems a tad embarrassing that I couldn’t tell a monkey wrench from monkey bars, but the Geared app at least is making me feel a bit better about my clumsy hands, thanks to its clever, fun mechanical puzzles.

Geared gives players a set amount of gears (imagine that!) that they use to bridge the gap between a blue gear and a yellow gear. When all the gears are connected and rotating properly, the player goes on to the next level. If that sounds a little simplistic, don’t worry, there are 150 of these puzzles in the base game, with another 50 available for purchase.

The biggest issue with this gameplay principle is that, unlike other app construction (or destruction) puzzle games, players aren’t scored for efficiency, or lack thereof. The only thing that matters in Geared is whether or not you’ve completed the level. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it certainly knocks the challenge of the app down a peg or two.

Combine the pass/fail level system with a game that doesn’t seem to get challenging until you’re 20 puzzles in, and Geared might be a bit of a slow starter for some folks. It’s certainly not immediately eye-catching. The simple visual style is understated, and works for the game, favoring simple cartoon gears rather than some quirky steampunk visuals, but it’s anything but eye-popping. In the end, this might work in the app’s favor, as a game that could become a bit too mechanical, excuse the pun, gains a bit of levity with the simple visuals.

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Your mileage with Geared will generally depend on your ability to be entertained by the idea of constructing and deconstructing puzzles. As a free app, the amount of puzzles to complete is extremely impressive and worth delving into if you’re looking for a new challenge. Just don’t expect to be wowed along the way.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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