When it comes to gaming, there is always something intrinsically sexy about a simple game. It amazing to see what developers can do with the right tools on the right mobile platform; still, a simply designed game can be a joy to behold.
Enter 15 Coins. It is unabashedly minimalist, simple in concept and execution, and gives little reason to be disliked.
To play, the basic idea to understand is that 15 coins need to be collected. The coins are small and circular, and appear seemingly randomly in the portrait playing area. The vehicle for collection is a small triangle ship that can be controlled by tilt or touch controls, in this case, to collect the coins… or to avoid the clones.
The clones are the enemy, and really are the life of the game. They are black versions of the ship, and are lethal when touched. The problem is that the clones don’t only mimic the shape of our protagonist ship, they copy the movements as well; they follow the path made by the collecting ship, even as their numbers increase rapidly. As such, there is a duality to the gameplay strategy: offensive collection coupled with defensive movements. One plus (that can be a negative if misused) is the nature of the play borders; they act sort of like the gates in Pac-Man; for instance, going through the right side pops out the white ship out the left, and bottom through the top and so on.
To round out the arcade-feel, there are power-ups, which, when collected, freeze the belligerents for a short period. When they are in the frozen state, they can be destroyed by contact.
There are three levels of difficulty — easy, medium and hard. I preferred the touch to tilt controls (the reverse is usually true) and I really liked the orange motif.
All in all, it is not an easy game to get through, but like the devilish Super Hexagon, that is part of the allure. Free means there is almost no risk to try.