Async and Threes, time to kill time

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Spring is almost here (unless you’re in Cleveland) and for me that means less time inside and more time outside, which also mean less consoles and more mobile gaming. Thankfully, I found a few wonderful time killers that scratch the “waiting in line” itch.

Async Corp.

Async Corp is an somewhat-abstract puzzle game that asks to you create “asyncs” otherwise known as at least 4-same-colored squares in order to eliminate them. If that doesn’t sound too innovative…well…it’s not, but the gameplay and presentation of Async Corp was rather refreshing to me while also suiting my minimal tastes. The one trick to Async is that you have to switch colored blocks from one side to the other, and you can get bonus points if you create two asyncs at once.

Async Corp has three main play modes and I’ve found most of them to be a really good challenge. One mode, Quota, is all about speed. “Async” mode is about making the biggest async color block you can, and Zoning mode is another timed challenge but instead of losing (at all) you just drop levels if you can’t keep up, which is almost more frustrating than just out right failing.

Cute sounds and music keep Async Corp under my thumb whenever I have to wait a few minutes here or there. Async Corp is $.99 in the App Store.

Async Corp

Swap bricks from side-to-side to create async blocks

Threes

I finally jumped on the Threes bandwagon and gotta say, it’s worth it. The object of Threes is simple, combine like-numbers to create bigger numbers in a quest to get the highest score possible. To combine numbers, just slide the numbered blocks until they smash up against a wall and they’ll combine. Incredibly simple yet very addictive.

The design and sounds only add to enjoyment of Threes but the game does lack a bit in responsiveness and speed, so hopefully an update will help solve those minor issues. However, it would seem the bigger problem for Threes is the clones currently making the rounds (and doing pretty well).

1024 and 2048 are too popular like-Threes games out there, each involving the sliding and combining of numbers to get a high score. There are a few subtle differences between Threes and the others but the parallels are all too obvious. I don’t dislike the Threes clones but in terms of production quality and overall fun, Threes beats them out.

Threes is $1.99 in the App Store

Block Legend

There’s no shortage of gem matching games and Block Legend follows that path but tosses in some extra RPG-ish elements along the way. Take your character and match tiles to power-up, heal and attack your opponent. Block Legend shares a lot with Puzzle Quest and Dungeon Raid but has more character to it. Yet quite possibly the best thing about Block Legend is the lack of in-app purchases.

Block Legend

Match blocks, fight monsters. Yummy.

 

For a $1.99 you get the whole game. No coins to buy or levels to upgrade. You play, you die, you repeat. There is game currency that you use to unlock characters and buy items but you don’t have to worry about hitting the “please wait 15 minutes to play” message or the “buy 1000 gems for $.99 to continue” stuff.

Block Legend sports an 8-bit retro style but it feels a little too unpolished for my tastes…but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the game. This isn’t a pick-up-and-quit game like the others but Block Legend doesn’t require too much attention to have fun. And I should also say that playing on a phone is a little too tiny for me but the tablet experience is great.

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Brian is a staff writer at TMA. He races Hot Wheels at RedlineDerby.com while watching cartoons with his kid. You can follow @morningtoast on Twitter.

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