Every week, our staff will handpick a game from the past two weeks that we believe is a must-have download for your iPhone or iPad. These games will always be from a wide variety of genres, but they are chosen because our own staff members love it and can’t put it down. So here are this week’s picks! Enjoy, and happy gaming!
Layer – simple is hard
In the mood for a relaxing but stimulating puzzle game to check out for the weekend? Then you need to try our Game of the Week, Layer – simple is hard by Gamenauts.
This gorgeous game features a minimalistic look and feel that you are sure to love. The white game grids stand out nicely against the black background, and the colored tiles on the board are bright and vibrant. There are smooth animations as well, so Layer is an aesthetically pleasing package. The soundtrack is tranquil and soothing, so this is the perfect little game to just sit back with after a long day. Plus, the card shuffling sound effects are a nice touch.
The goal of the game is to stack up all of the colored tiles into a single stack, and you get a bonus star on a stage if your final stack is on top of it. In order to stack up tiles, players must tap on empty squares that are adjacent to two colored tiles. This process is repeated until they’re all in one stack. While it sounds easy, you have to think about your move before you make it, because one mistake can falter the entire process. You can go back one move if you catch your mistake early enough, but otherwise you’ll have to restart.
Layer comes with five different chapters that have 30 puzzles each. However, like most puzzle games, you start out with just the first pack, and must gather enough stars to unlock the rest. Things start out simple enough, but then you have new game mechanics introduced, such as multiple colors on a grid and color-changing squares.
We love puzzle games at AppAdvice, so needless to say, Layer is a new favorite of ours. If you enjoy a challenging puzzle with minimalistic visuals and a unique gameplay concept, then make sure to give this a whirl. You can find Layer – simple is hard on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.
For a more in-depth look at Layer, don’t miss my full review.
Hearthstone for iPhone
Do you love card games and the world of Warcraft from Blizzard? If so, then you probably have been playing Hearthstone since it came out on PC, Mac, and iPad. But for a mobile card game, the best device to play it on is the iPhone, especially now with bigger screens. Fortunately, Blizzard has delivered with the latest update to Hearthstone that made it a universal app.
I like Hearthstone because the gameplay is streamlined — each player takes turns, and both gain a “mana crystal” with every turn. This determines what you can play on your turn, since each card costs a specific number of crystals, which is shown on the card. The maximum number of mana crystals a player can have at once is 10. The card types include minions, spells, and weapons, and all of these depend on the type of class you are playing, which is based on World of Warcraft. You can hone your skills in Practice and unlock more class deck types, or go in Play to be put up against an opponent of equal skill or you can challenge your own Battle.net friends.
With the universal update, Blizzard didn’t just scale the game down — the iPhone version is a port of the iPad game, and now has new features that are designed specifically for smaller screens. What this means is everything feels more intuitive without sacrificing any of the experience that Hearthstone is known for.
If you have played Hearthstone before on PC, Mac, or even iPad, just log in with your Battle.net account on the iPhone (authenticator users get the code automatically pasted in) and your existing card collection will be there. You’ll be able to enjoy all of Hearthstone’s current content, including the latest expansions.
We have been big fans of Hearthstone since it came out on the iPad last year, so we are happy to see it available on our iPhones as well. You can get Hearthstone for free as a universal app on the App Store with in-app purchases for more card packs or expansions.