I’m still not 100% sure if I completely understand this game, but what matters is I couldn’t stop playing.
Noxion, designed by gagulgames, is…well, it’s difficult to describe. I wish I could tell you that within a few seconds of game play you’ll figure it out, but it’s not necessarily that kind of game. That said, it’s not frustrating either. It’s oddly addictive.
What I’m sure of: The quality is extremely high. The game uses the accelerometer, and the slightest motion of your iPhone really effects the game, making it pretty intensely interactive.
The game is based on physically simulated particles. That’s right, physics geeks – this one’s for you. Particles, most marked with either a “+” or an “x” float down one at a time from the top of the screen. They stick to their like kinds, and explode when they touch their opposites. Your goal is to build two big groups before letting them touch and explode, which gives you more points. Also, you get more points if the two groups have an equal number of particles. So for example, if two “x” particles collide with four “+” particles, you won’t get as many points as you would if three “x” particles collided with three “+” particles. The only thing I didn’t quite figure out was exactly how the points system worked – just that equal groups are good, and big equal groups are better.
As the particles fall, you can tilt the iPhone to send them sliding into one another, or drag them with your finger. The more you gather, the more interesting it gets as you really start to use the tilt feature, as well as touch. The borders on both sides start to slowly shrink in on you, making it more difficult to keep particles separate long enough to get two big groups. But a particularly large explosion will push the borders back. There are also neutral particles, which can be attached to both, and bonus particles labeled with extra points.
I scratched my head for a minute or so when I first opened this one, but the great graphics and smooth response convinced me to figure this game out. I’m glad I did; it’s going to be one of the few I keep on my iPhone to play when I have an extra few minutes. If you’re looking for a new, unique strategy game, this one is worth a shot.
Noxion requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.