101 Games in 1 Review

101 Games in 1 Review

Jun 1, 2011

101 games for the price of 1. Sounds like a great deal, right? Especially when you consider that the price of those games is free, how you can you possibly beat that? Well, just because something is free doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost something. Like, your precious time, for example.

This collection of mini-games was produced by Nordcurrent, a European game developer and publisher. Ported from the iPhone, 101 Games in 1 features puzzle games, arcade action games, gallery shooters, racing, sports, cooking and even Sudoku. There’s a little something here for everyone, and as you play through them, you’re sure to find a few diamonds in the rough. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many diamonds to be found, but there is PLENTY of rough.

In the beginning, you start with 10 games that you can play to your heart’s content. Each time you play the game, you’re aiming to beat a certain score so that you can rack up enough points to unlock more games. As you go, the games become more expensive, requiring you to go back, play the unlocked games more and get even higher scores. It’s not an unreasonable proposition, and certainly adds to the replay value, assuming you like what you’re playing.

The games in this collection are all simple, easy to play games. Some simply require you to touch the screen to get some action to happen while others will have you frantically tapping and dragging objects all over the place. As for the difficulty, the games range from very easy to nearly impossible.

An example of an extremely easy game is the air-hockey game, Tornado Hockey. Laughably, I discovered several “sweet spots” where I was able to park my mallet and watch the AI continually miss the puck. Again and again, the puck just kept bouncing right into the goal. After a while, I set my phone down and waited for the timer to expire. The AI never variates its attack, the pacing never changes and the game never gets any harder. It just repeats the same exact movements until the timer runs out. It’s a bit pathetic, but it only gets worse.

These are among some of the worst, “Punch the Monkey” style games imaginable. Really, I’ve seen better Flash-banner advertisements than some of what you’ll find, here. Some feature controls that are so unresponsive that they are barely playable while others have such poor hit detection and physics that, even when you’re playing the game correctly, you still can’t win. They’re just broken, terrible games wrapped around advertisements and offers to gain points by downloading apps, signing up for services and more. And that’s 101 Games in a nutshell, really.

If you’re looking for a collection of quick games that don’t require a lot of time or commitment, this app is for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a well-produced game with real merit that is actually worth your time, I recommend you look elsewhere.


101 Games in 1 Review Rundown

6
Graphics/Sound - Most of the graphics in the game feature simplistic backgrounds and objects with very limited animation. The sound, likewise, is pretty basic, with only a few tracks that loop continuously regardless of the game you're playing.
3
Controls - At best, the controls do what they should. At worst, you find yourself swiping, poking, tapping and dragging objects that completely ignore your gestures.
4
Gameplay - When the controls aren't working against you, some of the games can be fun. However, most of them are designed to be so short and offer so little that there's almost no point in playing any of them.
6
Replay Value - If you're in it for the long run, there are plenty of games here to keep you coming back. Unlocking them all can take quite a bit of time, especially as you venture into the more expensive games. However, some of the games are so terrible, you might just reconsider playing any further.
4.75
Overall - If you aren't particular about the kinds of games you like to play, you might actually enjoy this. As for myself, I found that the majority of these games are not fun, unoriginal and quite broken. I'd rather play one, fully-fleshed out idea that has been polished into a great game than to sludge through a hundred, barely functional, half-baked gimmicks.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
Connect with Dale Culp // email