February 7th, 2012 | By Chris Stutzman
Bad games have plagued me in these past few weeks and my reviews have probably proved that. The better titles seem to be few and far between right now, so when I saw Powergrids for iPad as my next review, I wasn’t too enthused. I knew the game would probably have some sort of grid system or puzzle going on, and that didn’t excite me too much since that is all I have seen lately.
Either way, I gave the game a fair chance and my opinion has actually changed drastically since I first played the game. When the game starts, you are given the option of reading a tutorial before beginning your first round, which, for me, was utterly confusing and not worth my time. I tried again, read the tutorial again, tried again, and read the tutorial again before I finally started to fall into a groove and understand what I was supposed to be doing. Powergrids isn’t made up of any complex system and there isn’t a ton of things you need to know; this one is more about luck combined with a risk vs. reward system.
Powergrids starts out with a plain grid and the player must tap a square to reveal what it contains. There will be a number on the square ranging from 1 to 4, this represents power. The level starts the player with 50 power points, and each square they reveal will consume one point. If the player runs out of power then the game is over. In order to refill the power points, it is required to consume the power squares on the board, and this takes place by tapping a revealed square. Consuming costs 5 power points initially, and will reward the player points equal to the sum of the squares directly above, below, left, and right of the one they tap. This explanation is probably a bit confusing, but it makes a lot more sense once you actually try the game out.
If the standard mode isn’t enough to keep you satisfied, there’s another game type called ‘Enhanced’ that you can try your hand at. In all honesty, I just don’t understand this one, or I completely suck at it. Either way, I don’t find it enjoyable because I am lost the whole time! I’m sure many people who have more patience than me will understand the rules and really have a blast with it since it adds in power-ups and different bonuses that can take place.
Powergrids is a interesting game due to its simplicity and the way it slightly resembles a very classic game. Powergrids isn’t going to be the game you spend months playing, or even hours upon hours; however, it can easily become that game that you turn on at least once a week to spend a few minutes in between TV shows, on the bus ride to work, or even while you are downloading a larger program.
The classic game I am speaking about from above is Minesweeper. To me, Minesweeper was always a game I could play on my computer, even at a very young age, simply because I just had to click the squares. Later in life, I learned about the real point of the game, as well as different ways to play it but, no matter what, it was still fun to stop and play a round or two since the game was so short and easy to get into. The same can be said about Power Grids because it has the same blind tap feel to it that has you hoping for something to pop up, but you won’t actually know what will happen until you have already placed your move.
Keeping things simple is a great idea at times and really does work best with a game like this. The graphics aren’t great by any means since they aren’t required to be. The game board is made up of a bunch of white squares that make a grid, and then, once tapped, will change into a green, yellow, orange, or red square with a number on it. There is only so much you can do with something like this, and the current graphics work fine. They could have added skins and textures to the tiles, but it would only have distracted from the real objective.
Music is done well in this game, even though I can’t fully explain the type of soundtrack they have chosen. All I can say is that it keeps things upbeat and fun, and blends in nicely with the different pops, bleeps, and bloops that will take place whenever you select a different grid square to reveal.
When you get down to the nitty-gritty of Powergrids, it really is a good game. There aren’t all the bells and whistles that many games launch with these days, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do what a game is meant to do, which is provide the player with a challenge and fun. If you understand and accept that Powergrids is going to be a simple game that may not give you 5 straight hours of gameplay, but is more along the lines of a sprinter, then you will really be pleased with this title. You will play it for short bursts, and much more often than you would play other games that take 30 minutes to play a round.
Pick Powergrids up if you want a quick challenge and aren’t afraid of doing a little math in your head! Avoid it if you want something with a ton of depth or eye candy. For more info, stop by the official website or head straight to the App Store to get your copy today!