Crossbones – Review

On January 2, 2009

App Type: Uncategorized

Crossbones – Review

Our rating:

By: Crossbones

Version #: 1.0

Date Released: 2008-12-12

Developer: New Insect Overlords LLC

Price: 2.99

User Rating:

Before playing my first game, Crossbones had me thinking so hard, I could have passed for one of Capt. Hook’s simple-minded crew. This app definitely falls under my ‘must have tutorial’ category, and thankfully it does have a tutorial. But I had to go over it thrice and endure the equivalent of three headaches before finally grasping the idea of the game. And when I did, I realized it’s not as complicated as I thought it was after all.

At the intersecting point of Crossbones are pirates and a deck of cards. It is essentially a card-matching game with a brain-teasing twist and thirsty-for-treasure pirates. In fact, you’re one of them, and you have to match as many sets of three cards as you can in order to score more pirate loot. But how do you make a match? What are the cards in the first place? Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Well, you’re not going to see aces and kings here. In this game each card has four properties, each having three possible values: background color (red, green, blue), object or symbol (bottle, cup, dagger), object count (1, 2, 3), and stripes along parallel sides (horizontal, vertical, none). Three cards make a match if the values for each property are either the same OR different across all three cards. This was the part where my migraine kicked in, by the way. The properties are evaluated and matched independently, so that means one of the many possible matches is one where each card has 2 daggers on a blue background (same count, object and color) but one card has vertical stripes, the second has horizontal and the third has none (different stripes).

To select three cards to match, tap on the cards on the nine-card board and/or on your four-card hand. The board is shared by all players and each player has his own hand. You can replace the cards on your hand by giving your device a shake. If you make a valid match, you will be rewarded with 3 points, but if you select three cards that don’t match, 1 point will be deducted from your loot. A game ends 15 seconds right after the deck is emptied.

Spongebob Squarepants, to answer the third question.

Three game modes are available. In Single Player mode, you play against your device. You can choose to have one, two or three computer opponents. You can also opt to turn on hints in this mode. A card shimmers if it is part of a possible match. This is quite helpful especially if you’re just in the "What am I doing here?" stage. In Multiplayer mode, you need to set up a network to play against other iPhone/iPod touch owners. In Memory Challenge, you play against your memory as one board row is hidden at a time. Really, really challenging (read: impossibly difficult). In each mode, your best time, the fastest you keelhauled the competition, is recorded.

The game also has three levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard. For starters to get the hang of the game, I suggest playing Easy, where the stripes property is excluded and your foes are apparently more considerate of your thinking time. They should be. Matching cards is not easy when you’re new to the game and there’s simultaneous un-matching involved.

I also suggest choosing a good pirate name for good measure. I’m a pirate initially named Drin’s iPhone (the app pulls your device name). Not an intimidating name at all. So I thought real hard and came up with Jack Sparrow. I entered it under Nickname within the Settings option of the app. Later, I saw that one of the built-in players is called Calico Jack. We couldn’t have two pirate Jacks playing, could we? So I changed my name to Capt. Barbossa. Then I remembered that another player is called Barbarossa. Too similar sounding. So I just abandoned my Pirates of the Caribbean frame of mind and settled with the stomach-churning… Capt. Drin. Arrr! There yee have it, mateys!

Quick Take

Value: High
Would I Buy Again: Aye Captain!
Learning Curve: High
Who Is It For: Pirates and ordinary folks who want to play a not-so-ordinary card game
What I Like: Brilliant, if totally brain-teasing, twist
What I Don’t: Learning the mechanics was a bit painful for me.

Final Statement: Crossbones is a different kind of card game that will test your matching and un-matching skills. It can make you want to say "Arrr!" or it can make you scream "Arrrgh!"

Read the Developer's Notes:
Introductory Price! $2.99 until the end of the year! Crossbones returns to its regular price of $5.99 on January 1.Crossbones is a challenging and addictive pirate-themed puzzle game. Match cards as fast as you can to collect pirate loot. Play solo or against computer opponents in single player mode. Challenge your friends over the internet or via local multiplayer.Features:* Learn the basics in the detailed tutorial* Play solo or against computer opponents of varying skill* Play against your friends and enemies over Edge, Wifi, or local networks* Adjust the game difficulty and get hints when you need them* Hone your skills and stretch your brain with the challenging memory mode* Customize your avatar using your own photos
O U R   T A K E . . .

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drin has written 22 awesome app reviews.