Chip Chain (iOS) Review

Ned Jordan
In Short
It's fun, but it will try to get you to cash in some chips to unlock it all.

As with so many other iOS game reviews, let's open this one by saying which other iOS game Chip Chain strongly resembles. In this case the other game in question is Gems with Friends, and if you've played that one then you have a pretty good idea what to expect from this one, although there are a few differences.

For those of you who haven't played Gems with Friends, or one of any other variations on the theme of which I am not aware, the goal of the game is to clear a board of poker chips, each of which has a numerical value. You'll be given a random chip to place on an open spot on the board and after you do so the game's 'dealer' will add another chip to the board as well. To eliminate chips from the board, and score points in the process, you need to make chains of three or more same-numbered chips that can be connected by moving horizontally and vertically through the grid. When you collapse a chain, it will condense into a single chip and increment the chip value by one. If you can use this new chip immediately to collapse another chain, you'll score even more points. To give you a little bit of a hand, you'll also have access to a small hand of cards that allow you to manipulate the chips on the board. For example, a card might allow you to change the number on a chip or to remove one from the board completely.

In the basic game mode you'll be given a time limit and challenged to score as many points as possible before time expires. Other game modes offer variants such as limiting the total number of chips available to place on the board. The game's variation on the "pay now to unlock everything, or play a few hundred games to do it on your own" theme makes random modes available for play each day in addition to the timed mode which is always available.

Although it may seem like Chip Chain is a variant on matching puzzle games, the game plays more like a strategy board game than a puzzle game. Those who like to carefully plot out their moves may find the random chain-blocking chips thrown out by the dealer to be a little frustrating, but the dealer can be viewed as another player whose job it is to keep your score as low as possible.

Chip Chain makes for a good little portable distraction, but the cheap unlock scheme for the game modes is annoying. If you can put up with the random modes each day and are patient enough to put in the time it will take to unlock everything for free, you'll have fun with the game.

Final Rating: 85%

Transmitted: 2/25/2024 5:56:47 PM