Monthly Mobile Review Roundup – January

Zero Fun (Developed by Deadjam. Available on iOS)

Zero Fun reminds me of a game I reviewed last year called Defuser. It was a game based on the idea of stopping bomb counters reaching zero and exploding the bomb. Zero Fun is a little similar in concept.

On each level in Zero Fun you have a total score that you need to hit by tapping on the circles on screen. The lower the number in the circle as you tap on it the higher the score you get for doing it, but don’t let any circle reach zero otherwise it is game over. The circles appear randomly on screen and with a countdown timer that runs at a different speed to other circles on screen. Keeping an eye on them all is not easy!

As you progress through levels you will occasionally hit checkpoints that you can restart at should you need to (you will need to). There is definitely on at level 5, but beyond that I’m not sure as I’ve never made it past level 11. For anybody interested in Game Center achievements there are about a dozen in the game, including one for finishing it(!) and a few Easter Egg ones.

Overall Zero Fun is more fun than the name suggests, and will keep you coming back if only to prove to yourself that your reaction time is not quite over the proverbial hill yet.

Worth your time/money? Yes

Hidden Folks (Developed by Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg. Available on iOS & Android)

Hidden Folks comes across as a cutesy version of Where’s Wally? and it holds up to that for the most part.

I would challenge you to name 5 things that are more enjoyable than finding hidden objects in pictures, but I already know that you could probably name 10 off the top of your head. That’s not to say that Hidden Folks isn’t an enjoyable experience because it really is. It has charm, wit, and a sense of fun about it. It also has a permeable sense of the love that clearly went into creating it, and it works so well as a tablet game (it’s also available on Steam).

You are probably now asking where the “but” comes in. It comes in here. But for everything I like about the game there is a certain amount of frustration that comes with trying to find the more elusive characters and objects in each scene. Some are downright obscure to find, and with very little sign posting in some of the clues you will find yourself digging holes, shaking snow off trees, moving clouds, bothering yetis, and finding scorpion nests in the middle of the desert to discover everything through all of the scenes. I will readily admit that this is probably my fault as I wanted to finish the game completely, but didn’t necessarily want to spend the time just casually browsing each scene. In having this mind set I probably missed out on a lot of Easter eggs that are not even part of the discoverables list.

If you have the time and patience to spend looking and interacting with the scenes, and enjoy hidden object games, this is definitely recommended. If you are easily frustrated you may be best to steer clear.

Worth your time/money? Yes

Mind Construct (Developed by Studio Rouleau, available on iOS)

I was ready to dismiss Mind Construct as nothing more than a brief distraction that I would uninstall after my first play. After one extended play session I wish I’d listened to that version of me.

The gameplay is fairly simple. From a central point you move a circle around the screen to collect plus and square icons and return them to the central point all the while avoiding the other moving objects on screen which close in on you in an ever tightening circle. The goal is to retrieve a set total of the plus icons on each level within the 1, 2 or 3 go’s you have, and by achieving a global total you unlock tiers of the mind which act memory/story blocks. Each subsequent tier you open has a greater total required to unlock it than the last one did. The square icons you collect in the game are called quantums and act as the currency for using boosts or purchasing cosmetic changes for those inclined to do so.

Sadly, it wasn’t long after unlocking tier 2 and working towards the total for tier 3 that the game soured for me. The patterns of the obstacles became increasingly complex and hard to dodge between, and the time that you have before the tightening circle completely traps you becomes very short. Using bonuses through spending quantums helps to a degree, but they are in limited supply so as to push you to purchase packs (which go up to £99.99 for 1500 quantums) or the permanent x2 collection bonus at £2.99. The game also offers an Ad removal option and, at 99p, isn’t much of an expense, but removing the ads will not enhance the experience any and just leads to a shorter period between the bouts of frustration at the difficulty increase.

Worth your time/money? No

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