Fortunate Bear today is pleased to announce Black Maria 1.0, a hearts card game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Hearts is a card game where the goal is to take the fewest number of point cards - hearts and the queen of spades - while forcing your opponents to take as many as possible.
Black Maria builds on this game of strategy by providing quirky opponents, an adjustable challenge level, and expansion packs to keep things interesting.
Unlike other hearts games, Black Maria provides computer opponents that have personalities - names, faces, and dialogue. They taunt a player when they make mistakes, complain when they are dealt points themselves, and rejoice when they force the player to take a point card. The base game includes a communist cat bent on overthrowing his human oppressors, a cricket wrangler, and an unhelpful psychiatrist.
Black Maria provides an appropriate difficulty level for any player. A built in tutorial, on demand suggestions, and — with the help of an expansion pack - the ability to peek at a competitor's hand ensure a beginning player never gets stuck. For more advanced players, Black Maria has four levels of difficulty and the ability to configure the rules how they like them, both features available through expansion packs. Multiple level undo helps players at any skill level recover from tactical mistakes or mis-taps.
Expansion packs in Black Maria expand on the basic free game. They add up to four new opponents, four new wallpapers, the ability the configure the speed, difficulty, and rules of the game, the ability to peek at your opponent's hand, and provide an ad free experience, all while supporting an indie developer.