Simple Concept, Challenging Game: Chain Contingency

Price: $0.99   Score: 8/10    By M. SchustermanChain

Here is one of those games that you open and, without any instruction, play. I had no idea what type of game this was – Crusader Storm LLC’s website said I was a Numerian defending my homeland against the vicious Letterians, so I expected some sort of bloody battle – but this is a reaction game that’s simple to figure out and challenging to master.

In Chain Contingency, you’ve got a grid with 96 squares. The alphabet – I mean, the “Letterians” – pop up randomly in the squares, starting with A, moving to Z and starting over. Touch them in alphabetical order as they appear (no going out of order). As the game progresses, they start to pop up faster and faster.

Like I said: Simple. However, sometimes simple means cheap graphics, and that’s not the case with this app. The letters pop up yellow, and if you get one letter behind (aka, if there’s more than one letter on the screen), the new letters turn red. You’ve got an easy and normal mode, which just start at different speeds. From the main menu, the only other option other than “Play” is to check out your records.

Don’t be fooled – this isn’t easy, and trying to top your own high score is pretty addictive. Once you miss a letter, it’s almost impossible to catch up as new letters start popping up faster and faster.

I only have two complaints about this one. First, when I hit play a page showing scores and other info pops up, but it’s so fast that I don’t have time to read it, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to call it back. Second, there’s no “pause” or “menu” option during gameplay. Pausing, I know, would be cheating, but if I start a game then decide to switch from easy to normal, I can’t go back to the main menu – I either have to wait for enough letters to fill the screen that the game decides I’ve lost, or just exit the app and come back in. Not a big deal, but a “Back” option in the corner would be nice.

Such a simple concept, but this is the kind of game that makes you tense with the urgent need to best your score. For those that aren’t into learning games with a bunch of rules, this is a fun one to check out.

Chain

Chain Contingency requires iPhone OS  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.


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