Field Fencer ($1.99) by Nutomix Interactive is an adorable and fresh take on the traditional pencil-and-paper game, Dots and Boxes (aka the Dot game).
You control Oinko, who needs to defend his field from three opponents: Toby, who wants to plant his bonsai trees; Sammy, who wants a big field of sunflowers; and finally Swineko, who would want a large pool of mud to roll around in.
If you are familiar with the strategic game of Dots and Boxes, you will know what to do already. If not, here’s the basics of Field Fencers: you claim land by planting a fence around a square of land, but only one fence can be played per turn. For each square of land you claim, you get a point and an additional turn. Whoever has the most points by the end of the game (when every square of land is claimed) is the winner.
This game is highly fun and challenging, and provides plenty of options as well. You have 6 different map layouts, 3 different game modes (I’ve only tried the Normal, but there is also Icelandic and Swedish), and 3 difficulties to suit the need of every player. In Easy mode you face Toby, who is still ‘learning how to play. In Normal, you face Sammy, who knows the basics. And finally in Hard mode, you face Swineko (haha, Swine!), who will do anything to make sure you don’t claim more land than he does.
There is a single player mode as well as a multiplayer mode, though it’s only by pass-n-play or Bluetooth. There’s also plenty of achievements to get, so there’s plenty of incentive to keep playing this cute and adorable game.
I found that the AI of the computer characters is fairly smart, and even on Easy mode, it’s not so easy (but then again, I have hardly ever played this type of game on a regular basis). I found myself losing quite a bit, until I finally figured out how to somewhat outsmart the AI. The game can get pretty tricky, because if you mess up once, you could potentially hand the entire game over to the opponent.
I did have a bit of a problem with the sensitivity of the controls though. You use your finger to place where the fence should go, but I noticed that even the slightest move in a direction will place the fence just a spot off where you originally intended to plant it. It could be my clumsiness, but I feel that the sensitivity of the controls could be worked on in a future update. It’s nothing bad, really, just means you have to be more careful about where your finger is on the screen.
Despite me not being all that familiar with this type of game before, I began to pick it up quite quickly. I think the Easy mode is great practice and training, since it can also get a bit tricky despite being ‘Easy.’ Also, the characters are adorable, and how can you not like a character named ‘Oinko’? Also, the game animations and UI is as smooth as butter.
If you’re in the mood for a game that will make you think, plan out your every move, and make you cry in despair (but go awww at the same time) when your one mistake will cost you the game, then Field Fencer is definitely a game you should pick up. At $1.99, it’s well worth your money.