Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Aiko Island ($0.99 iPhone, $1.99 Universal) is a physics-based puzzle game that may be familiar to you once you start playing since it incorporates so many elements from several other physics puzzle games.
On Aiko Island, there are two teams, a red team and a blue team, and one very coveted item: cookies. The blue team has the cookies, and the red team wants the cookies. Each team is composed of geometrically shaped little hairy monsters that in a way resemble Jim Henson’s fur-covered Elmo and Grover characters. The goal of each level is the same: eliminate all of the red cookie monsters, without harming a single blue cookie monster. There are three ways to eliminate each of the red cookie monsters, pop them, drop them or let them roll. Rolling can result in dropping off of a cliff or being popped by a sharp instrument.
With each new level, you lear something new about the dynamics of these fuzzy little monsters. Some are square, some are round, some have armor and some are sleeping. Each new characteristic is something you need to contend with as you try to solve the level. It gets even more challenging when the level itself becomes a series of trap doors that need to be played in a sequence to clear the level of all of the red monsters while leaving each blue monster un-harmed.
There is also a challenging element that you must complete each level with as few taps as possible and within a certain time limit. The fewer the taps and the shorter the time, the more cookies are rewarded. And it’s the number of cookies that you have been awarded that unlock the next levels. You may find yourself going back to previous levels and trying them over again just to get that third cookie that will allow you to unlock the next level and move forward on the map. And for the less patient among us, there is an in-app purchase that will unlock all levels regardless of how many cookies you have won.
The HD version of Aiko Island looks great on the iPhone and iPad’s Retina display and the soundtrack is amazing. In fact, it is one of the few games I can think of where you might want to download the soundtrack for listening even when not playing the game. IceFlame’s attention to detail did not stop there, as there is a special mode of the game for those among us that are color blind. This mode makes it easier to tell the difference between the red and the blue monsters. And if you do end up completing the more than 125 levels, there is even a free holiday version for the iPhone.