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My latest fixation: Frenzic
Frenzic's tagline is "Addiction never felt so right." Typically I take marketing with a grain of salt, but in this case, they may be onto something.
After the last few articles, I think I’m ready to discuss something, well, fun. Enough serious crap, it’s time for dessert! This isn’t really a review, but a brief overview of my latest Mac addiction.
Two days ago I downloaded Frenzic, a puzzle game recently released by The Icon Factory and ARTIS software. I burned through the one hour of play time demo period in no time. I’m not a big first-person-shooter or role-player-game person; most of the games I play tend to be of the strategy variety, from various simulation games (Sim City 4 on Macintels, please!) to puzzle games, so it’s no wonder I would be interested in Frenzic.
Frenzic’s tagline is “Addiction never felt so right.” Typically I take marketing with a grain of salt, but in this case, they may be onto something.
So how does one play Frenzic? As counterintuitive as it may sound, it’s hard to explain because Frenzic is so simple and straightforward. The game board has seven circles: six on the outside and one in the center. Each circle holds six wedge-shaped pieces. One by one, a wedge will appear in the center circle, with a timer. Your goal is to place this wedge into an empty space of the same relative position in one of the outer circles. When you fill a circle, the pieces in the circle disappear, giving you more spaces to place wedges. If you have wedges of matching colors, you get additional points, and depending on which circle the wedges are in, you get an extra goodie like one to clear the board, slow down the timer, or double your points. If you can’t (or don’t) place the wedge in the center somewhere before the timer runs out, you lose a life. You do gain lives as you play, however (specifically, whenever you clean a circle filled with like-colored wedges), so after a while you will have a few to play with.
I don’t know if that makes much sense, really. You’ll just have to try it. When I first saw Frenzic, my first thought was Trivial Pursuit. I wasn’t the only one who was thinking along those lines. I saw Frenzic on The Unofficial Apple Weblog during the day; as soon as I got home I downloaded Frenzic and took it for a spin.
Oh, and I just bought Frenzic. In the middle of writing this article.
So what makes Frenzic great? It’s unique; it’s certainly unlike any puzzle games I’ve played. It’s incredibly fast-paced. It’s attractive with catchy music. It requires complete concentration and focus. It’s ridiculously easy to learn; by my second game, I knew exactly how to play it. There are no keys to memorize; once you get the basic idea of what’s going on, you know how to play. There’s nothing else to figure out. It’s that simple. And then there’s the whole part about strategy: do you mix the colors for less points or do you let the time expire and lose a life so you can potentially match all the colors in a circle for more points? Unlike games like Tetris, Frenzic gives you no advance warning of what piece you’re getting next. You have to try your luck. In the end, the possibilities for strategies is endless. If I had to briefly describe Frenzic, it’s an awesome strategy/puzzle game with a hint of social networking and pure gambler’s luck built-in.
I don’t buy a whole lot of shareware. There are only a handful of shareware apps I have purchased, but rarely do I make a purchase decision so quickly. For me buying Frenzic was a no-brainer. About the only complaint I have has to do with the colors. I have a friend who is color-blind, and playing Frenzic would be somewhat difficult for him, since he would have a hard time distinguishing between a couple of the colors (and as I mentioned before, if you match the colors you get additional points and unlock some goodies during gameplay). If there’s one thing I would ask the developers to do, it would be to make the game more accessible to the colorblind.
There are two purchasing options available: the first one, Frenzic, gives you unlimited local play time and a six-month subscription to Frenzic’s online features (upload your scores, track stats, and more) for $14.95 (US). Ten dollars more gives you unlimited local gameplay and unlimited access to the online features. Either way, you owe it to yourself to take Frenzic for a spin.