This CD is a collection
of two games: Power Chips, and High Roller.
Power Chips Screen
Power Chips borrows heavily from Super Collapse with a Vegas motif; Poker chips of
different denominations fall from the top of the screen. Clicking on groups of three
or more of the same color/denomination results in the group being removed from the
board and your account is credited with the value of the removed chips. The catch
is that each level has a certain number of groups that can be removed, so some planning
to get large groups of high denomination coins is required for the best score. At
higher levels, new chips are introduced (such as bonus chips, nuke chips and wildcard
chips), and the starting layout is higher (closer to the foul line). The game ends
when one of the columns of chips crosses the foul line.
High Roller Screen
High Roller is also a group-matching game, this time with a dice motif. In the case
of High Roller, though, the playing area is always full. Any die on the playing area
may be swapped with an adjacent one to form a group of 3 or more (but groups must
be linear, not "L"-shaped or diagonal). Again, each level has a fixed number
of groups, and the number of groups increases with each level. Also in this game,
higher number dice give a better score, but getting 10 groups in a row with very
little time between groups results in a speed bonus that can dwarf the difference
in value between low numbered die and higher numbered ones. A final twist is the
addition of a seventh die, the star. Six groups of stars on a level results in another
bonus (that can be earned multiple times). The game ends when no moves are possible.
Both games also have a "time attack" mode, where a bonus is given for remaining
time from a counter at the end of each level. Each group matched puts time back on
the clock, so speed is of the essence.
These are arcade style games that are best played in full screen mode. I did notice
some minor desktop disturbance after quitting a full screen game, but nothing more
than a minor irritation. Power Chips is the kind of game where the chips keep falling
whether you are ready or not, so even in "normal" mode, it can be an adrenaline
pumper. High Roller allows for a variety of game play; from careful, contemplative
puzzle solving, to all out beat-the-clock heart racing action. For this reason, it
is my favorite of the two.
I took these games with me on a recent family vacation to Grandma's house. The entire
family, from my 5-year-old daughter to the adults found High Roller to be engrossing.
We had to take turns to keep everyone satisfied. For the little one, I can rationalize
the activity as developing pattern matching and spatial reasoning. For the rest of
us, it is just a very enjoyable game.
The minimum requirements for these games are OS X 10.1.5 with 128MB of RAM and an
OpenGL-compatible video card. I tested them on a 1GHz G4 Powerbook and they performed
flawlessly. The graphics are colorful and well done, with 3D-ish aqua effects on
a 2D game board. Likewise, the sound effects and music backgrounds are appropriate,
adding a nice touch to these fun and addicting games.
High Roller and Power Chips are easy to understand and to play. These are stable
games with intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces, but most of all, they are a lot of
fun. Between the two games and their different modes, it is very likely that everyone
will find something that appeals to them.
- Straightforward arcade-style
- Different game-playing
- Full-screen mode
- OS X native
- No OS 9 version
- Desktop disturbance
caused by full-screen mode
1/2 out of 5 Mice