This week, Final Fantasy fans are in for a treat. Final Fantasy VII released for iOS, and the Final Fantasy Portal app is available for download as well. Rounding out the list, we’ve got two understated art puzzlers and Pac-Man himself. First, here’s the promised giant unicorn.
Following in the loud, colorful footsteps of Monsters Ate My Condo, this game is a sensory overload of neon, screaming children, and fart noises. Players control one of four returning monsters from MAMC, this time building a deck of multicolored cards to take into turn-based battle. Each color has a strength and weakness against two other colors, and cards can have in-hand effects, play effects, or both. Attacks are over-the-top and smoothly animated, ranging from feline-piloted UFOs to supernatural ghost tornadoes. Players can also build a separate deck to defend their own city from other players. Come for the fast-paced card combat, stay for the hilarious piano ballad victory music.
Perhaps the exact opposite of Monsters Ate My Metropolis, The Guides is a quiet, challenging puzzler supported by an ominous ambient soundtrack. Boasting hundreds of challenges, even the first ten I tried weren’t easy. There is some real variety, too. Puzzles range from converting a string of binary into a code word to rotating concentric circles hidden in an image. To give more context to the game’s myriad mysteries, there is a separate app called The Guides Compendium that offers “supplementary detail to the primary game.” The developer promises this companion app isn’t necessary to progress, though it might be a nice purchase if you find yourself enjoying The Guides as much as I have.
Gathering Sky is a perfect example of an art game, with gorgeous visuals, a stirring score performed by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and minimal gameplay. Taking control of a single bird, you must gather a flock over six chapters while avoiding obstacles like predators and rocks. This is a short experience, and the price might be a bit steep for a game that doesn’t have the most involving mechanics. Anyone looking to decompress with some soothing music and few penalties for failure should consider picking this up.
Final Fantasy VII
Developer: Square Enix
Square Enix has made a habit of porting their earlier games to iOS, and earlier this week Final Fantasy VII was released for the iPhone and iPad. At a hefty 16 bucks, this is the full PC version of the game with a few extras. The port includes an option to turn off all random battles for players who just want to enjoy the story and boss fights. Using the new max stats command, players can make their party overpowered at the press of a button so they can march through combat unchallenged. If you don’t want to play Final Fantasy VII with a virtual controller, consider waiting for the PlayStation 4 port this winter or the remake.
Inspired by the infamous level 256 in Pac-Man, this game turns the arcade classic into an endless maze where our yellow hero is chased by ghosts and something even more sinister. Players must avoid these ghosts, collect special items, and progress through the maze all while the world is inexorably swallowed up by The Glitch. Each run nets you more and more points; collect enough and you can unlock new abilities like anti-ghost lasers. If you thought being hunted by ghosts in regular Pac-Man was stressful, wait until you’re outrunning The Glitch while trying to beat that high score.
the author Christian Belland