The Most Addictive Game certainly lives up to its name

First impressions

OK, so we’ll admit we weren’t that blown away when we first saw this app. The graphics weren’t exactly dazzling, the concept seemed ridiculously simple. Frankly we felt it was a bit beneath us. Why oh why had we chosen The Most Addictive Game, Christmas Edition for App of the Week before doing more research? But then we tried to play it and our opinion changed. Which seemed like a game designed for the very young was actually much more difficult than we had anticipated. We began to eat our words as we started the game for the tenth time in almost as many seconds.

How it works

Most Addictive Game has been around for years. Odds are good that if you’ve had a computer on your desk at any point in your life and you’ve been bored out of your tree with something like TPS reports in your inbox, you’ve played it. In it’s most basic form it featured a red square with four blue rectangles of different sizes and from the minute you got that red square moving, it was your mission to keep it from hitting the perimeter of the play area or one of those pesky, constantly moving blue perils.

This app works in exactly the same way, except this time you’re a snowman trying to avoid four rogue candy canes, and you’re using your finger instead of a computer mouse.

There are two versions of the app: Free and Pro. The free one has limited options. You can choose “Classic” or “Crazy” mode and set your difficulty to “Normal” or “Hard.” You can also activate the “Offset” option, which will be explained in a minute. Upgrading to the Pro version brings on FLASH mode, a WOW level of difficulty (why anyone would is beyond us) and other themes.

Once you’ve downloaded the app and set your mode and difficulty levels you can get started. Put your finger on the snowman and start moving him. The candy canes will instantly start gunning for you, and you have to keep avoiding them and the edge of the gaming space. It is difficult. Very difficult. Don’t be surprised if you only last a few seconds the first time.

As your time improves you will probably want to start keeping a record of your best scores. The app will tell you when it thinks you’re doing better. At the beginning it’s all encouragement, telling you to “keep practicing” but just when you’re lulled into a false sense of security, thinking you’re all that, that’s when it hits you with the “below average” jab to the ribs. If you really want to be knocked back to reality, choose to go and see the scores of those who have gone before you. Judging by the difficulty of this game and some of the scores posted, there truly are those who find this the Most Addictive Game.

When we played

As we mentioned earlier, we first approached this game with a cockiness it turns out we couldn’t have deserved less. We lasted 1.36 seconds the first time, 2.25 seconds the second, and 3.14 the third. We realised very quickly why the app notes fractions of a second. We kept hitting the perimeter in an effort to get away from those ominous candy canes, and couldn’t seem to stop doing it, even as we pep-talked our way into the fourth attempt. It was amazing how so simple a concept could be so tough to grasp. Stay away from the edge and the candy canes. The end!

After nearly 30 minutes of playing which, judging by our (below) average time meant we had started over and over about 90632928674 times, we finally got to about 13 seconds. We were incredibly proud of ourselves and the app seemed relieved that we were finally getting somewhere. Surely this was a time worth saving and posting!

We chose to save it, and then hit the button that would show us scores from competitors around the world. We should have never looked. Seems that Connor C Curry of the US of A with his score of 125.61 seconds, and Jonathan Williams, also from the land of the free, with his top score of 120.18 seconds, have wayyyyyy too much time on their hands.

One thing we DID find a bit of a pain with this app was that our fat finger got in the way sometimes so we couldn’t see an advancing cane until it was too late. We did, therefore, try the “Offset” option which gives you a dot below the snowman to use as its mover, but we made far more mistakes that way, and so went back to the old school.

No matter what, we agree that this app deserves its moniker.

Final thoughts

Halo 4 won’t be shaking in its boots, and even Pac Man looks sophisticated in comparison, but don’t be fooled by this little app that could. Think about it – the top score on the international board is just over two minutes. Good luck!

Pros: Simple to understand. Will run on older iOS devices. Lots of fun for all ages.

Cons: Finger can get in the way of the game. You may forget to eat when you’re playing.

Most Addictive Game, Christmas Edition

Cost: Free (Pro is $0.99)

Seller: Charles Jamerlan

Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android

Rating: E for Everyone

Three stars

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