The more fingers the merrier!
At first glance, I didn’t really know what to make of this game. I wouldn’t class myself as much of a puzzle-player, but I do get sucked in to things quite easily; as it turns out, Cross Fingers is no exception.
So whaddya do?
The premise of the game is to drag different small shapes around obstacles in each level to a big darkened shape, where they all glow bright white and disappear. Sounds pretty simple? Well, in a rudimentary way it is! But as they always say, the simplest ideas are the best. If you imagine Tetris, but horizontal, and instead of making lines you are making a shape… and there are things in your way… then you’re pretty much there. As mentioned in our news section, the latest update of Cross Fingers brings you another 270 levels to work through in addition to the 120 originals, as well as allowing the use of iPhone 4 / iPad’s Retina Display (I’m on an old-school iTouch, however, so I can’t comment on this unfortunately!)
To begin with (as I had never played the original Cross Fingers) I had no idea why it was called Cross Fingers; the game was pretty simple and it didn’t even require two fingers, let alone crossing them. Also, it didn’t seem much of a puzzle game – although it did make me feel like a bit of a genius. This lasted until about level 12. The really smart thing about this app is the way it intertwines the complex and the simple. For example, 20 or 30 levels in and you are still dragging your blocks into a basic hexagon or quadrilateral, but the shapes you are dragging are extraordinary! The complexity of the design almost makes up for the 1950s sepia colour scheme the designers decided to go with (which, unfortunately, does not change throughout).
When the levels get harder the game introduces nice red blocks that auto-spring back into place when moved. It soon becomes apparent on how Mobigames decided on the name for their App, and to be honest Cross Fingers gets pretty fun at this point; however, at later levels I sort of felt like the game should have been called “More hands needed”.
I wanted to start with the bad first because I do have quite a few points to raise; however, this does need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The mechanics of the game can be a little sloppy – you’re able to move multiple blocks in one swift drag, but this can be a mixed blessing! You may find yourself having spent a good 15 seconds (it doesn’t sound long, but believe me!) positioning your blocks on the shadow shape, only to accidentally knock another block right through the middle, leaving a tear in your eye and wishing that you were on finger ten pin bowler. This leads me to my next issue; the blocks don’t stick in place!!! I’m not after “easymode” or something, but you think there might be a soft-lock or something to keep your blocks in place on the shadow shape, but the slightest move can send your entire level back to square one. Lastly, Cross Fingers does get a little bit repetitive – but what can you expect from a game with nearly 400 levels based around one theme! And tbh, I want to quickly turn this round into my first positive!
It’s a bit repetitive. Yep, you heard me right – you get bored of it and that’s a good thing. Cross Fingers is a classic example of a game that you will keep going back to, purely because you won’t sit down and solidly play it for hours on end… I imagine. This game has become a great time-killer on the bus ride to work, and I even managed a good 10 minutes on my lunch break (although at later levels you really do need both hands… playing one-handed with a bagel in the other is just frustrating!)… and that’s all you need. Also, it’s hard! Again, some levels you kinda think “Are you serious?” as you move 4 square blocks into a big square shadow, but other times you really have to sit, stare and think about the moves you’re going to make. Making a wrong move can be very costly, and multiple times I have needed to restart the level over rather than figure out how to get back to the start.
Lastly…it’s 59p from the App Store. 59p!! If you can find a more cost-effective way to spend 59p for several days… weeks, even, of entertainment then please let me know. Seriously! Soon you won’t even be able to buy a stamp for 59p to put on the postcard with your answer to what you could buy for 59p! In short, it’s well worth the “expense” if you enjoy a bit of a challenge and have time to kill in the day.
Overall, Cross Fingers has a lot of potential where the strengths outweigh the flaws. It’s not the prettiest game to look at and there are times that you will want to throw your iTouch against the wall with frustration; however, this just increases its playability! What’s more, the “pick up put down” feel of it makes it an awesome game to play on the commute as well as waking you up that little bit if you didn’t have time for the morning coffee.
Dan’s verdict = for 59p, well worth the investment!
- Sound: 5
- Graphics: 5
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 10
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