Developer: Aake Gregertsen
Price: free Download on the App Store
I'm always on the lookout for electrifying new games to play on my iDevices. Wire Storm fits that description almost exactly — it's a connect-the-dots puzzle with an electricity theme. Puns aside, Wire Storm is an excellent puzzle game. The short levels make it easy to play in small bursts, yet it's challenging enough to fill a few hours with touchscreen entertainment.
The goal in Wire Storm is to create a "complete circuit" by connecting nodes of the same color. Drag your finger from one node to the next to indicate a wire path for the electrical current. Sound easy? Here's the challenge: you need to fill the entire game board, but wires can not cross and wires of the same color can not fill a 2x2 square.
If you're familiar with games from the App Store's Top 100 Charts, then it's hard not to notice the similarities between Wire Storm and Flow Free. The gameplay is the same: connect the endpoints and earn points. The main difference is one of design. Flow Free features a decidedly more simplistic theme where users create "pipes" so that water can flow. I find Wire Storm's electric theme more appealing. Wires sparkle as they connect to each Node and all that energy gets me charged up to keep playing. Another nice touch is the color palette. Even while playing a marathon of 5x5 grids, it's not the same old set of primary hues. In Wire Storm, the colors vary from level to level.
Wire Storm delegates points on a sliding scale. In Freeplay mode players earn more stars for solving each puzzle in the fewest moves possible. Speed will net the best scores in a Timed Trial.
Despite its successful design, the game shorts out in several places. Most noticeably with the way ads are implemented. The app launches with a decent ad-free trial period. (I played without distractions for more than a dozen levels.) However, once the ads starts, they are very intrusive and can't always be x'ed out of right away.
My advice is to spend the $0.99 and upgrade to the ad-free version of Wire Storm. Simply, click the shopping cart icon in the upper right-hand corner to remove ads via in-app purchase. If you decide to hold off, then at least go to the settings and disable video ads. It doesn't cost anything and you'll won't get stuck watching a 30-second ad.
Whether you buy the upgrade or not, Puzzle fans will find Wire Storm to be an excellent value. The game has 18,000 levels. As you improve, increase the grid size from 5x5 all the way up to 16x16 for more of a challenge. Or, make it even more interesting by sharing top scores on social media and inviting a few friends to play Wire Storm using Game Center.
If you ready for a real challenge, clear your schedule and dig in for a Wire Storm marathon. Developer Bit Has is offer a $500 prize for the first person to earn 27,000 stars in Freeplay Mode. The challenge officially ends April 1, but the top score is already above 20,000 stars so if you want to participate don't delay. There is more information on the Bit Hax blog.