Welcome back to the Weekend Games Corner. It’s another week, and another entry which has a theme. What can we say; having a theme makes things interesting. It’s better than throwing together three random games that are kind of fun, right? This way the games are connected by something other than being featured together here on this page.
The word of the week is puzzle. All three games we picked are some form of puzzle game, even if they slightly bend the strict definitions of the genre. This week’s picks could be considered action-puzzle games. You get the idea. The base gameplay requires solving a puzzle, which requires some form of skill. Here’s what you’re looking at this week.
Gyro is such a relief compared to some of the games we review on Android and iOS. These days, a free game means putting up with ads, microtransactions, or some combination of the two. We don’t blame the developers for trying to make money… but we can’t help but feel that the game is cheapened by those things.
Gyro is a refreshing alternative to all that. It’s got a simple aesthetic with clean graphics unmarred by advertisements. The graphics are optimized for multiple screen sizes. There’s not a microtransaction in sight. Best of all, the whole thing is free. This is how games should be done.
The game itself is pretty simple. There’s a circle in the center of the screen divided into three separate colors (sort of like the Chrome logo). By swiping the screen, you rotate the circle. Small objects will fly at the center circle.
Your job is to rotate that centerpiece to match the color of the large circle to the color of the incoming object. It sounds complicated but it’s not. Trust us, Gyro is very easy to play and fun.
The gameplay gets complicated with the addition of special objects. There’s a nuke, a thing that creates orbiting barriers, and one that gives you extra health.
Matching colors does not make for much of a complicated game, but Gyro is still some good simplistic fun. We greatly enjoyed playing a free game that’s good, not crippled by pay-to-win, and ads.
At this point, there is probably six people in the entire world who haven’t played Bejeweled. PopCap’s massively successful gem-matching puzzle game has seen a lot of popularity on all sorts of platforms.
If you are one of those six people, Bejeweled is uncomplicated. There’s a screen of gems. By selecting two of those, you can swap their position. Each swap has to for a row of three identical gems. Those three are immediately cleared from the board, and you get points.
That simple formula has proven to be immensely addictive. Bejeweled is a lot of fun. People have been playing it on the computer and mobile devices for years now.
Its latest form is Bejeweled Blitz. The idea is to take the classic gem-swapping game and condense it down to fit shorter mobile gaming sessions. You have 60 seconds to make as many moves as possible to set a high score. Throw in some new additions like bonus and double point gems and you’ve got an interesting take on Bejeweled.
Bejeweled Blitz is deeply integrated into Facebook as well. At every step of the way the game encourages you to share your high scores with friends. It’s a lot more fun than competing against the computer.
We would have preferred the option for longer play sessions, but Bejeweled Blitz is perfect for on-the-go gaming.
Liquid is an interesting take on the traditional puzzle game. Instead of controlling an Italian plumber or a disgraced Spectre, you play as gravity. The arrow keys rotate the stage around to indirectly control a bit of liquid on the screen.
The concept is neat, but level design does not really impress. The water physics, on the other hand, look great. Between that and the creatively purple visuals, Liquid is clearly the end product of a lot of labor.