Azkend HD

Version 1.10
Compatible: iPad 3.2
Price: $5 HD

I find it fitting for my first review to be on the first game I bought after purchasing my shiny new iPad. What lead me to this game I can’t remember, out of all the games of the entire App Store I picked this one. I think I was looking for Hexic or something along those lines and instead found Azkend. I got the Lite version and systematically decided that I needed the full paid version for some naive reason that I can somewhat understand.

Azkend is an action puzzle game that consists of connecting hexagons with matching symbols to make long strings so you can clear the entire board. Its a simple, addictive zen game with beautiful visuals that is light on the hectic side of things for the sake of a calm, relaxing experience. And that’s what I got when I started off with the Adventure mode. If that’s all it was I would be quite content but the problem starts as you casually delve deeper into the game.

The first few levels grant you power ups, when you chain four or more of these power up symbols it has a certain effect that clears more of the screen. Progressing further into the game gives you ridiculous amounts of power ups that when you chain them together causes the screen to jump about in a seemingly random pattern. Once I started doing these power ups I felt like I lost control of the game and that’s one of the worst things that can happen.

It’s not just a game of connect the dots however. There are small pointless sequences where you have to point out where a small blurb belongs in a grand painting. It doesn’t appear to penalize for multiple tries so I never failed when I pointed everywhere as fast as possible. It’s a meaningless distraction that’s barely worth mentioning but gives me an opportunity to lead into the visuals. Clearly the best part of this game are the gorgeous visuals. They don’t do much but since it was my iPad first I was chuffed at how good they looked on my new display.

Bottom line is if you’re looking for a game on your iPad (there’s an iPod version as well) where you can just sit back and zone out and don’t mind paying out a fiver for, go for it. I haven’t found many games on the App Store quite like it unless you find Angry Birds to be therapeutic (then what the Hell’s wrong with you?) I’d recommend it to big spenders but to people on a budget, there’s far better for much cheaper.

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