Puzzle games are perfect for handhelds – I have already gushed enough about Peggle on the iPhone! My Squares! Here & Now! is – as the iTunes App Store listing says – a strategy board game with puzzles. The premise is simple – you want to change as many squares on the board to your color while preventing other players from doing the same.
My Squares! Here & Now! is a strategy board game with puzzles. The game features four players, any number of which can be human or computer, thousands of levels, three difficulty settings and two game modes.
The goal in “My Squares! Here & Now'” is to conquer several squares, preferably on higher valued squares. The player with the most points, not squares, wins. Depending on which game mode you are playing, each game can consist of one or more rounds. The winner of the round receives the points earned at the end of the round.
Once everyone but the last player is dead, the game continues only until the current round is finished. Then the points for that round is calculated as normal and the winner is the one with the most points overall. Each teleport will give hundred bonus points.
Each player in turn, can get around the board using three moves. If you move one space, then you conquer the square behind you. Move two spaces away and your character will jump and conquer the surrounding squares. If you select the square you’re stood on, you’ll be teleported to another random square.
Squares vary in value from 40 to 20 to 10. Squares with a triangle are worth 40 points, squares with a circle are worth 20 points, and the squares without symbols are worth 10 points. An extra teleport is earned every thousand points scored.
You can submit your highscores to the online “HALL OF FAME” where you can compete against other players around the world! You just need a player name, and you’re ready to become the best player in the world!
I don’t claim to be nearly the best player at any of the game genres I like, but generally I do pretty well for myself. So I was rather surprised when I wasn’t winning right away with this game. My kids played some as well and confirmed my thoughts – this is the sort of game where you need to be ready to come in second. Or third. Or perhaps even last every once in a while.
The game starts with four players, each occupying a corner of a grid. Turns start from the upper right and proceed counterclockwise. On your turn you can make one of three moves: you step a single square and the space you were in becomes your color. Alternately, you can jump two spots, which will change all squares adjacent to your landing spot to your color. Finally, you can tap your icon, which will cause you to jump to a random location.
As I said, this seems simple, but there is considerable strategy involved. Taking a random jump can be a great move – or it can land you on a square of another color … in other words, dead. Likewise, the simplest move – a single step – is often the best way to increase your collection of squares. The most interesting move is the double-jump. As I mentioned, doing so changes all squares adjacent to where you land, but doesn’t change the color of the square you jumped from.
Adding to the strategy, there are some squares with a square or triangle in them, indicating they are worth more points. Standard squares are worth 10 points, circles are worth 20 points and triangles are worth 40 points. Considering you have four colored balls jumping around on an 8 x 8 grid, building a solid strategy is critical to victory. Also, while short term thinking will get you some quick points, you really need to think of the end game at all times, otherwise you will squander those early gains and watch other players destroy you.
My Squares! Here & Now is a nice, single-minded puzzle challenge that does a great job of providing some quick fun (or frustration!). The amazing thing is that it is only $0.99! There is considerable play value here based on variable board types and difficulty levels. If you are interested in challenging puzzles games, consider this one a must-buy!
Where to Buy:
What I Like:
– Fun for multiple players.
– Simple to learn, hard to master.
– Great price!
What Needs Improvement:
– Needs an easier ‘easy’ mode for beginners.