Social Match - Match your friends' profile pictures! ($0.99) by Kwant Developing is a gorgeous matching memory game that uses your friend’s pictures as the game pieces.
Remember when you played these matching memory games when you were younger? It sure was fun, but it was always the same pictures that you’d end up matching over and over. What if you want to add a fun new twist to the old classic by throwing in your friend’s profile pictures as the cards that you have to match up? That’s just what you get in Social Match.
The thing that drew me in to this game was not the fact that it was a fun new way to look at memory games, but the fact that this was a collaboration project with the folks of Lima Sky, which is the team that created the smash hit Doodle Jump. When you see the game in action, you will definitely feel the presence of Igor Pusenjak/Lima Sky. Social Match features a beautifully designed interface that is incredibly slick, from the game menus to the actual memory matching. There isn’t any music to the game, but there are some subtle sound effects during play, which are a nice touch.
When you launch the app, you will be prompted to connect your Facebook account. This is so that Social Match can fetch the profile pictures of your friends to use in the game. Of course, if you do not have a Facebook account, don’t fret. The game can also make use of your Twitter friends, or just your address book.
The main menu of the game will feature four options: Play, Game Center, Matched Friends, and About. The Game Center option will take you straight to view your rank among friends or the world, or you can take a gander at what achievements await you. Matched Friends will be a list of the profile photos of the friends you have matched so far in games, complete with names (in case you don’t recognize them by image).
When you tap on Play, you will get a menu with several options to customize your matching game. There is Friend Match or Friend Guess.
In Friend Match, you can choose between Easy (12 squares), Medium (20 squares), and Hard (30 squares). You will have to flip cards over and match them in pairs until there are no more left. Depending on level, you will get power-ups like flashing cards to help you out a bit. Friend Guess will not allow you to choose any difficulty level, and you will get a grid of profile images and a name at the top. This will test how good of a friend you are, since it requires you to tap on the profile image that matches up with the name.
Both game modes will have a timer showing elapsed time, and the faster you are at completing it, the more points you get. The points will determine your rank with others globally in the leaderboards. There are also nine achievements to obtain.
I am rather enjoying this game, as there is definitely a bonus to playing it — improving your muscle memory, remembering who those people you have on your Facebook and Twitter are, and competing with others while doing this. The interface is slick, controls are super simple (just tap), and everything is responsive.
If anything, there could be an iPad version of this, which would make it easier to see your friend’s profile pictures (some people don’t have mugshots, but images where they are with others or have a scenic background). But besides that, the game itself is very polished.
I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys sleek memory games and wants to get better at remembering people. You can get it in the App Store for your iPhone for $0.99.