When it comes to mobile gaming, the first thing that comes to my mind is the GameBoy. But we are in 2013, and mobile games have taken a new meaning. Smartphones have become the largest market for mobile gaming; which is not surprising knowing that almost every person on the planet has one! Okay, okay, not everyone, but you get my drift. I just got my first smartphone a couple of months ago and never really played games on my phone. Heck, I didn’t even use any of the networking-capable features for at least a week. As I started getting used to my phone, I finally decided to get a game on my phone. I have been searching for a free/freemium game, since I am “lacking-funds” kind of guy right now. One of the top-rated games on the internet was Puzzle Craft. I thought it would be something like Harvest Moon. But once I starting playing, it something incredibly different.
Puzzle Craft is a mix of Bejeweled/Candy Crush, match at three puzzle game, with a few Sim City/RPG elements. The game is a diverse mix of genres, all rolled into one addicting game. You start off as a camp and you gain coins from taxing your people (you can also use the social network to gain more through ads and/or by paying actual money for virtual money…). You then are required to collect resources from farming and mining. This is where the addiction starts to kick in. The match three puzzles are what kept me going for long periods. Need more bread and chicken to mine? Keep farming. Need more building blocks and iron to build a new building? Keep mining. Collecting resources to build your camp into a city is the goal of the game. There are loads of buildings to build and workers to hire in the game. Oh, did I not mention you can “hire” workers? Hiring workers can help you gain resources faster and more efficiently. Building certain buildings can bring more workers in and hiring them from the use of more resources or coin. You can even craft tools to help you mine and farm much longer and faster.
The game has a lot of simple elements that just meshes well together. Simple and cute art design will keep you concentrating on collecting more cows or bringing in some gold. The sound effects are sparse, but not really needed and the music is on repeat once you start Puzzle Craft. So, the sound in general is pretty much useless. But on the upside, you can listen to your own music and not have to worry about listening to anything important in the game.
The biggest problem I faced was the touch controls. The game had a more difficult time recognizing my finger movements than most games I have come across. Trying to collect extra items from your city or swiping multiple resources can be a hassle as I needed to try multiple of times to click on a certain area or I just need a needle-point finger to execute some actions correctly. This problem was specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android smartphone. I haven’t tried on any other phone or iOS system, but it was a pretty annoying problem I have come across. Maybe other smartphone users will have a different opinion about the touch controls.
Puzzle Craft I thought would be a great bathroom distraction. However, once you get deeper into the game, those short-bursts of play start to become longer and longer. The game kept me busy for weeks. No, I didn’t play for hours and hours a day, but more like a couple of hours a week. I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Nothing was complicated. Just play and build your city. Simple. That is the one of the best formulas to stick by when it comes to the new generation of mobile gaming (or so I believe for now). Go pick this up on iOS and Android for free! Go! Now! You’re just missing out on some simple fun.