OutNumbered Review

OutNumbered Review

Jul 11, 2011

Puzzle games sometimes work best when they’re stripped down to the barest of bones. That seems to be the philosophy behind OutNumbered, a math based puzzler from GoodApe. In it, you’re presented with a grid of numbers. You’re also given a number at the bottom.

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to use numbers in the grid to add together to make the number at the bottom. Once you’ve done that, those numbers from the grid disappear and you’re given another number to aim for. Clear all the numbers from the grid and you move on to the next one.

It’s a really simple system, and it works quite well. The more sums you can make with the grid numbers, the more points you get, which means you have to think on your feet if you want to aim for the highest scores.

OutNumbered manages to be one of those rare games that are both fun and helps you to learn. Sure, the sums you’re creating aren’t exactly taxing, at least not at first, but the game makes you think about what you’re doing, rather than showing you the easiest option straight away.

The game looks a bit old fashioned when compared to some of the more expensive apps on the Android Market, but it plays smoothly and the touch screen interfaces all work rather well. These are only minor issues, though, and they do little to sully the user’s enjoyment of the product.

It might not be exciting, it might not involve large men hitting or shooting each other, but OutNumbered is a successful little game nonetheless. It has a game plan and it sticks to it, and it’s all the better for that. It won’t change the world, but it might make you a little bit better at adding things together, which is no mean feat in itself.

Size Matters! Review

Size Matters! Review

Jun 16, 2011

Working out your brain has become a bit of a fad in recent years. Kicked off by Dr. Kawashima and his floating head, it seems there’s a lot of money to be made making people incrementally smarter than they were before they picked up your game. If you can make them have a good time whilst they expand their intellect, then you’ve basically found the holy grail of mobile gaming.

Size Matters! is a brain training game of sorts, albeit a pared down one. There’s a single activity to tickle your grey matter, and that involves deciding, at speed, which of the two things you’re presented with is the largest. You might get numbers, sums, objects, weights or periods of time, but you only get three lives per go, and once you’ve used them, it’s back to the main menu to start again.

It sounds like a simple enough premise, but there’s a timer ticking away and you have to make a snap decisions about questions like which is longer: the gestation period, in days, of an elephant or the number of minutes in a year; the tension really starts to kick in. at this point. You answer the questions by tapping on-screen on the choice that you think is the largest.

There are three levels of difficulty, each offering a variety of obscure sizes, lengths of time and other measures over which you can deliberate. A high score system is in place, as well as a challenge system, that lets you compete against other players to find out who’s the best at knowing the sizes of things.

Size Matters! isn’t the best looking game out there, nor is it the most complex, but it does have a down to earth charm that makes it a winner. It’s fun, spectacularly easy to play and, perhaps most importantly, will hone your brain reflexes as you play. That’s not too bad for a game that doesn’t cost anything.