Everyone likes getting new things, but unfortunately most stuff costs money. Enter the App Store, where developers never seem to tire of marking their games down to free in order to spur game sales when the price goes back up. Read on for today’s best temporarily-free games!
Charadium II and Charadium II HD
Before Draw Something covered the entire planet with the amateurish scribblings of your Facebook friends, an excellent game called Charadium was already giving people an outlet for their artistic skills. Charadium is a lot like Pictionary, so you play online in real time with friends or strangers. One person draws, and the others try to guess what the drawing depicts. The game is loads of fun, and the best part is that when a match ends, it’s over. So unlike in Draw Something, in Charadium you don’t have to feel like a twerp for ignoring your game with your aunt, who spent 15 minutes drawing a picture of Kermit the Frog just for you.
Our Score: 4 out of 4
Our Bottom Line: Charadium II is a brilliantly designed piece of software that in many ways shows the sheer strength and flexibility of the iOS platform.
Pictorial HD is a 3D puzzle game that has you rotate a sky full of stars in order to discover constellations hidden within. Your goal is to turn and tilt the star groupings until you find just the right viewing angle to see the hidden constellation head-on. Don’t let our score fool you: this is a fun game. We gave it a 2 because there’s not a ton of content and little replay value. But if you can get an hour or two of interesting gameplay time out of a free game, why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
Our Score: 2 out of 4
Our Bottom Line: An attractively quaint puzzler, but with so little replay value, challenge, and length, it’s too hard to recommend Pictorial as anything more than a curiosity.
Old-school gamers might remember a little NES game called Marble Madness, which blew many a young, impressionable mind with its elevated ball-rolling mechanics. Gears is the spiritual successor to that game, a gorgeous steam-punk game of rolling a marble from point A to point B. The terrain in between is full of turning gears, steep drops, and collectible cogs. We loved this one in our review, so be sure to grab it while it’s free.
Our Score: 4 out of 4
Our Bottom Line: Gears is a beautiful, challenging, and epic ball-rolling game. This iPhone genre will never be the same.