configure HD ($1.99) by Cogent Logic is an iPad-only digital board game that’s a fun mash up of traditional games like Scrabble, Solitaire, and Rummy.
The board resembles a Scrabble board, with various spaces where you and your opponent place numbers. Numbers have to be matching or in sequence to be played on the board. For example, a sequence might be “7-7-7-6-5-4” or “0-9-8-8-7-7-6.”
Tiles can be placed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, but wherever a number goes, it must match the sequence of the tiles already on the board. Tokens are recorded at face value, unless placed on a special square.
Each player receives six number tiles, which are replenished as they are played. When the game starts, the beginning player must play a number on the middle tile (as in Scrabble). You always start games with the exact same numbers. Player A gets 024568 while player B gets 123678.
Unfortunately, this means that games often play out in the same way in the beginning, which quickly becomes boring. Every game I played against the computer started out with the exact same sequence.
There are several special tiles scattered on the board, and like in Scrabble, these multiply your score by two, three, or four. The skulls, however, will make any tile count as zero, so you must avoid them.
This is as much a game of defense as it is a game of offense. It’s important to place your tiles in a way that won’t give your opponent access to the triple and quadruple bonus tiles, or you’ll soon find yourself way behind.
There are also a few other special additions to gameplay. All sixes can be turned into nines, and vice versa, with a tap. You can also turn any tile into a blank tile if you can’t complete a number sequence, and blank tiles will have the value of the tiles around them.
While the game is fun to play against another player, this is not a worthwhile app for single player gaming. The way the AI is configured (and because the player always has to go first and has the same tile set) means that it’s next to impossible to win. The AI also seems to reward itself with the higher scoring tiles, and though the game has several difficulty levels, even the lowest setting is much too hard for casual players.
I had some strange glitches with app crashing and freezing. Towards the end of one of my games, the app froze completely. I couldn’t exit out, and had to manually kill the app. When I restarted it, my saved game was completely replaced with a default game with “Jeff” as the player. Not cool. This was not the only crash I experienced, and this game definitely has some stability problems.
This is a good game to play against other players, so if you’re looking to pick something up to play with friends or family, Configure HD is a good choice. I do think that it’s overpriced for what it offers (graphics are really nothing special) so I might wait for a sale.