This Singapore game developer has taken the simple match-two-cards memory game and turned it into a strategic finger-tapping frenzy that had me hooked for days.
The game board is a large 4 x 4 grid. When you start a new round, half the spaces will each hold a tile face down. Tap on any tile and it reveals a historical landmark for a short time, just as if you were flipping a card over.
Two identical tiles in a row give you a match, and you score points.
The matched tiles will disappear and be replaced by new ones. Each round is a race against time, so the more tiles you match within the time limit, the higher your score. At first, I tapped on one tile at a time, but I soon realised the better strategy was to tap on several at once and reveal the tiles simultaneously.
DEVELOPER: Ixora Studios
PLATFORM: iOS and Android
This is tough on a smartphone. But on a 10-inch tablet, I could tap on two or three tiles at once. Finger speed is not enough. What is really needed is a photographic memory.
Scoring is rather complex. There are 80 landmarks from six different eras of Singapore's history. They include the Dragon Teeth Rock, once a mariners' landmark at the gateway to Keppel Harbour, Raffles' statue in Boat Quay, and St Andrew's Cathedral, the largest and oldest cathedral here. There are also many less well-known landmarks, including the Ying Fo Fui Kun Hakka clan association, Yueh Hai Ching temple and Nagore Durgha shrine which is now an Indian Muslim heritage centre.
Each landmark has its own characteristics that can help you in your game. Some extend the time limit of a round, others give you extra points when make consecutive matches, or combos.
As you match the tiles, you can unlock them and level them up for game bonuses. To make use of these bonuses, you must position the requisite landmarks on your main map of Singapore.
At the start, you have only about five plots in your main map in which to place your landmarks. But as you level up, you unlock more plots and acquire more bonuses.
As you will have more landmarks than plots, you will need to figure out your style of play so that you can place the appropriate landmarks to boost your game.
While all the SG50 games offer nuggets of information about Singapore's history, this game does the best at creating a connection between player and landmarks.
I am already planning to take my children to visit some of these places over the weekend.
Of all the SG50 games, this was my clear favourite and the developer deserves kudos.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'Have fun while tapping your memory'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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