iPod/iPhone App Reviews: Chain Rxn Free

Each week, the OWC Blog staff pick a free application from the iTunes App Store to review. This week’s iPhone/iPod Touch app is Chain Rxn Free by Zwigglers.

Description

Chain Rxn is a simple but addictive game where you try to create the longest chain of explosions with just one tap!

Touch the iPhone screen to start an explosion that causes a chain reaction when it comes into contact with other balls.

There are 12 levels to complete. When you are done, you can upload your scores to Facebook and compete against your friends to obtain the highest scores.

OWC Chris’s Review

I came across Chain Rxn a year so so ago on Facebook, and it kind of just sucked me in, so when I saw that there was an iPhone app for it, I was quite excited.

Gameplay is deceptively simple. There are a number of balls bouncing around the screen. Touch somewhere on the screen to create an explosion. If a ball hits the explosion, it will will also explode. The object is to create a chain reaction of the explosions (hence the name) until you clear the required amount of balls for the level. Once you’ve completed all twelve levels, you can share your score via Facebook, if you want.

About the only thing that I could find any fault with was with the sound effects. While not patently offensive in any way, shape or form (a simple note when a ball explodes) after about 20 minutes of playing, those chimes could get on someone’s nerves – especially if they have a headache. Fortunately, you can easily turn the sound off.

This is the free version, so you can expect a popup ad (for the the full version) every few levels or so. The paid version is the same as the free, just sans ads. For 99 cents, though, that’s probably worth it.

Final Verdict: It’s a keeper. If you have a spare buck in your iTMS account, get the full version.

OWC Michael’s Review

This sure is a typical facebook game. And I’m not using that as a compliment.  Addicting at first, just like Farm Town, Farm Life, FarmVille, FishVille, Fish Town, Fish World, Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, Tiki Resort, Islander, Island Paradise, Restaurant City, Cafe World, Mafia Wars, Mob Wars, and many of the rest – there is minimal interaction from the user followed by lots of waiting and an arbitrary ranking / score which seems to be more of a symbol of how long you’ve been playing the game versus having any real skill to playing it.

Only whereas on many of the facebook games mentioned above you can spend hours moving decorations around to make your little game arena your own, you just have little dots and windchime explosions here.  Sure the .99 cents would cut down on some wait time while ads pop up between levels, but still you’re just touching the screen once and waiting to see how it plays out.

Overall Impression: I kicked the facebook games habit (well, mostly, I’m still a Bejeweled Blitz nut) so putting this one down was easy.

OWC Grant’s Review

How does one judge/rate a game? Here’s an interesting take. Does it take your wife to yell at you and your kids three times to put it down and come to dinner? After begrudgingly putting this highly entertaining game down, I pondered out loud while forking into a fresh pesto pasta dinner what one word could succinctly capture the essence of the game. I asked the rest of my test crew, Morgan (10) and Logan (8), if they felt addictive was the appropriate word and they agreed enthusiastically.

What we all liked about this easy to play game was that while it appears simple at first, there is an underlying strategy that requires the use of logic, geometry (or at least pattern recognition), and quick decision skills. And while OWC Chris wasn’t a big fan of the sounds effects when showing me the game as a possible review candidate, my crew felt the musical chimes were very pleasing and somewhat soothing after a long day. About the only thing missing was some sort of monkey feature….but as you may know if you’re a regular reader, we feel everything goes better with a monkey. ;-)

My Rating: A big YEA. It’s the first game that I’m looking forward to playing when the kids are asleep so I don’t have to share it with them and take turns! And in writing this, I think I’ve created a new category of game…multitask compatible. Once you make your selection, the game runs on “auto pilot” collecting your score. So one could play this and then divert attention to a movie or other purpose and then return to the game once you’ve either progressed to the next level or need to try again to reach the required total. I can see myself watching the local late news, playing this, and conversing with my wife.

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