I'm a bit of a solitaire aficionado. I like slow, thoughtful games that allow me to solve puzzles rather than just breeze through a mindless pattern of repetitious game play. Five Square is a solid puzzle. It is, as the author himself puts it, "a [really] hard game." And, despite some qualms about basic quality, it's fun to play.
Let me be brutally honest here -- as I was with the game developer himself -- there's a lot of room for improvement with the game. I hated the sounds, I mean really really hated them. The GUI needs tweaks, the instructions need rewriting, and the play options should be re-evaluated by adding a "reset" button to let you start the level over again.
That said, it's a pretty cool game, so I agreed to write it up, warts and all.
The game play works like this. You pick a root card. You can then match it up to any other item in its row or column that matches either in face value or in suit. That item is then placed under the root card, which moves to that position, and the stack grows.
Here's the tricky part though: the root card doesn't change. So it has to match to all items that it absorbs into its stack. If you're very good or very lucky, you can create a few stacks by starting new root cards, and then merge them all together using the same rules.
It's a lot harder than it sounds and it's a good waste of a few minutes to play. This isn't a game for the impatient or the easily frustrated.
Five Square costs two bucks and is currently available on the iOS app store.
Five Square: solid game bones, evolving interface originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 29 May 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.