Developer: NEAL COLSTON
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Patch Farkle is the latest farkle dice game available in the App Store, and while other similar games are available for iPhone and touch, Patch™ Farkle appears to be made in conjunction with the same manufacturers of the real life game carrying the same Patch Trademark.
While I enjoy dice games, electronic farkle was foreign to me before this app. Sure, I see a hundred Facebook posts a week from friends containing their farkle score, but I’ve never played that version – mainly because I only access Facebook on my iPhone. Guess now I can play anywhere, anytime.
What strikes me as a pretty fun game thus far, Patch™ Farkle is the same familiar game of chance featuring six dice that you roll for points. Only ones and fives are worth points singly, but three of any number has a score value, as does a straight. If any roll does not have at least one scoreable die, you “farkle” or bust, and lose the running total of your points for that turn. The rules appear to be slightly varied depending on the source, but Patch™ Farkle seems pretty close to the official consensus. You can play against a friend or against one of two included CPU players, but cannot play solo.
While Patch™ Farkle is fun and delivers a familiar game to the iPhone and touch for mobile gaming, it is missing a few key components to give it a top-notch score. One primary issue is stability. On a few occasions, I had to make multiple attempts at launching the app and many times it was slow to load and slow to perform. When you couple this with the lag between dice rolling, selection, scoring, and switching turns, it causes unnecessary pain – especially when playing against a CPU player. Controls are a bit sketchy, too, as tilting and shaking your device to roll seems to take twice as long as simply pressing the “roll” button.
Though farkle is incredibly popular on Facebook, there is no high-score integration to Facebook or any other social networking site within Patch™ Farkle. For me, this is a non-issue, as I can’t imagine anyone caring about my farkle score any more than I care about theirs. However, it would be cool to be able to play against another player over Wi-Fi or a bluetooth connection. As it is, you have to share your device with any human opponents. Since Patch™ Farkle is a race to be the first to score 10,000 points, it obviously is meant to be a multi-player game. In this regard, I wish the CPU player’s turn would advance a bit faster than it does.
All in all, Patch Farkle is a decent rendition of the real-life dice game, which is fun in its own right. If you enjoy the game and want the ability to play on the go, then Patch™ Farkle is a solid choice. It is priced in the middle of the road compared to other similar apps and is probably the closest to the real game. With a bit of attention and further polishing, Patch™ Farkle is definitely poised to be the best farkle rendition for iPhone.