Developer: Groovy Squared LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Brain Thaw - I feel comfortable saying that there's nothing in the world that can't be improved at least a little bit by adding penguins. They're cute! They waddle! They... eat numbers? In Brain Thaw, they do. The math game from Groovy Squared introduces Newton, the hero of Brain Thaw and "the cleverest penguin in the land." (You can tell he's smart because he wears glasses.)
Newton, apparently, likes to snack on digits. (By which I mean numbers, not fingers. Don't be scared.) On each level of Brain Thaw, players are given a basic math rule, such as multiples of three or factors of 30. Simply double-tap squares with numbers that fit the rule and Newton scoots over to them, clearing them from the board.
Of course, Brain Thaw is not quite that simple. There are yetis about, and yetis enjoy eating penguins as much as Newton enjoys eating numbers. (Doesn't anyone just eat cookies anymore?) There are several different breeds of yeti, ranging from ones who just kind of lurk about and get in your way (but are easily avoidable) to ones who will chase you around the board or ones who will leave additional numbers in their wake.
To finish a level in Brain Thaw, simply clear all of the numbers that fit the given rule, without being eaten by a yeti. There are also special bonus squares from time to time, with things like "x2" or "x3" which will multiply the points you earn for a short duration, a "1Up" which gives you an extra life, or a small bomb which will blow all yetis off the board for a brief period.
Brain Thaw has three difficulty levels (although I didn't think the Hard setting seemed all that different from the Easy setting, honestly) and records your high scores. There's also the option to upload your high scores to the web, if you're into bragging rights.
While Brain Thaw is definitely really cute (the music's cute, too), I personally found it a little too easy to really capture my interest. This seems like it would be terrific for kids, though.