iPhone App Review: SetBreaker

iPhone App Review: SetBreaker

December 22nd, 2011 by

Those looking for a fast brain workout should check out EZEZ Apps new game, SetBreaker. You are presented with four answers and a cryptic clue, and must decide which of the four answers given, if any, is correct. Speed is of the essence, as time factors into your score, and if you’re playing in arcade mode there are random opportunities to score (and distract you) that pop up on the screen throughout the questions. The game also offers several different skins, multiple levels of difficulty, and adjustable game duration.

How It Works

When you launch the game you are shown a quick paragraph of tutorial, then dropped into the main menu. The “How To Play” selection offers a more complete set of instructions, but the basic gist is that you must use the clue in the top-left corner to decide which answer among four is the odd one out. There are also answers for “No Match” and “All Match”, meaning that none or all of the four answers match the category being described by the (sometimes very cryptic) clue.

Some clues are fairly straightforward and simply require you to parse the four answers as quickly as possible in order to suss out the one that doesn’t belong. For instance, “Rhyme Time” means you need to read the four answers and decide if one of them does not share the same rhyme as the other three. “Simple Math” might mean you need to do the math problems and figure out if one of the answers does not add up to the same number as the others. As always, all or none of the four answers could match the clue.

Some of the clues are tricky and may have double meanings, such as “Sweet or Sour”. You have to read the answers and figure out if what you’re looking for is the odd sweet item in a set of sours, the sour item in a set of sweet ones, or if maybe all of them or none of them actually fit in at all. You have to do this all rather quickly, because with each passing second your potential score drops. If you get a wrong answer you are not shown the correct one, but you are shown a more detailed hint for the clue at the top-left corner.

In arcade mode, silly symbols appear in random places around the screen. They might cover up answers and make it harder to concentrate, but you can tap them for poionts and they disappear. As the game goes on the symbols get smaller and harder to tap (and therefore make it more likely that you’ll tap a wrong answer by mistake).

Pros And Cons

In terms of gameplay, be prepared to be challenged. I’ve only played the game on the Level 1 difficulty, and that’s been kicking my behind. Most of the diminutive puzzles are devious and tricky, making you tie your brain in a knot to figure out all of the possibilities of the four answers and how they might fit into the clue. Some of the clues are very simple and just need you to be fast and accurate with your finger taps, and if you’re playing in arcade mode then every annoying distraction becomes an opportunity for free points.

One minor problem with the question and answer structure is the category “Things”, for which I’ll give you a solid-gold hint: always answer “no match” (at least until they update the game and fix the problem that I’m about to reveal). The hidden category behind every “Things” clue is usually something for which none of the four answers given matches. Are the answers a US President’s name, The Beatles, something else I don’t remember, and a set of random symbols? Then the “Things” category must be “Women’s Names”. I can’t decide if this is their attempt at being especially tricky or just an oversight in their question-building process, because this happens almost every time that “Things” comes up as the clue.

The only other issue I had was how easy it is to accidentally quit the game. The Quit button requires to confirmation or prompt, you just get dropped out of the game to the main menu.

Overall

SetBreaker is a fun, devious quiz game that has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to keep your mind racing. Though it offers nothing especially attractive in the graphics department at this time, the developers have plans to include Game Center support and multiplayer in future updates, so this game should certainly be doing nothing if not getting better over time.

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