As of today, the number one free gaming app on iTunes is Move the Box. I wanted to check out what the fuss was about, so I downloaded the app and got to playing. For about 10 minutes, I enjoyed myself. And then, I got very, very angry.
In Move the Box, the goal is to move boxes so that three of the same line up and, thus, cancel each other out. It's interesting, and there's an array of different boxes. When they're all stacked together, it feels like a puzzle. That's exactly what it is, a puzzle. You are expected to "clear" all the boxes in a certain number of moves.
Sounds fun, no? Well, yes, until you, for example, clear all the boxes but don't do it in the exact number required to advance to the next stage. Then you are wondering, what the hell is going on.
Until you notice that, yes, you can pay for tips that tell you how to clear the boxes and advance to the next stage of puzzles. If you cannot figure that next stage out, well, buy more hints -- four hints for $0.99 and 12 hints for $1.99! (To be fair, you can rate the game for five free hints, which essentially is putting a price tag on rating something, but whatever.)
I hate this sort of freemium content -- hate it, hate it, hate it. You can say, well Brian Ashcraft, it's your own damn fault you cannot clear the stage in the exact number of correct moves. Then, I would say to you, that is true random internet person, but who asked you?
This all reminds me of when I was a kid, and I'd call video game hotlines and get "gaming tips" and "secret codes". And my parents would get huge phone bills. I'd also call Sgt. Slaughter on the phone, so whatever. It was the '80s.
What pains me is that the game seems like it could be fun, but that fun is marred by hints for sale, ratings for hints, and frustrating childhood memories.
Move the Box [iTunes]