Aurora Feint is a series we’ve been following for a while. As the only in-house games developed by OpenFeint, the first few AF games intrigued us with a fantasy setting and dozens of hours of gameplay. Some of the most memorable features were unlocking new abilities, solving puzzles, and challenging our friends in arena battles. AF3 removes almost all of these, settling on an endless and lifeless Match-3 game.
It’s hard to knock Aurora Feint 3 too much since it is a free iPad title, but your time is probably worth more than this. AF3 alternates between happy forest scenes, where you match tiles to recharge your energy, and scary forest scenes, where mercenary bunnies and birds will try to slay you. Here’s a suggestion for the hero of Aurora Feint: If you’re sick of getting jumped in the forest, try to find a way out!
The night time is the right time.
This constant, unending back and forth would be more interesting if there was any true sense of progression. Your attacks from matching tiles become more powerful as you gain experience, but you can’t unlock any spells or abilities like in previous Aurora Feint games. As a result, your strategy is always the same: slide tiles, tilt the device to change the gravity, and try to set up combos.
And as for tilting the device, which was a great idea on the lightweight iPhone, it’s a pain on the iPad. The 1.5 lb device is not easy to rotate every few seconds. You’ll quickly tire of doing this to set up combos, and instead probably just keep the device flat for comfort.
There’s also a halfhearted ‘social’ aspect, where you can summon your friends’ usernames to cause some damage for you, and an exploitative pay option where you can buy extra lives to survive tougher encounters. None of it is very interesting, though, and we’ve come to expect much better gameplay from the Aurora Feint brand.
If you want a fantastic Match-3 game with online multiplayer and lots of abilities to unlock, download last year’s Aurora Feint 2: Arena Daemons. If you want a free minigame that will waste your time without entertaining you, download Aurora Feint 3.