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 during this weekend.
Duck Dynasty — Battle of the Beards ($1.99 iPad, $0.99 iPhone) is a series of mini games that only the most seasoned of rednecks will have the necessary skills and profound intellect it takes to master. What sets this game apart from others is not the difficulty of each individual puzzle, but having to keep solving them at a faster and faster pace in what can best be described as an endless puzzler.
Starting out as a sympathetic yuppie lost in the Louisiana backwoods wilderness that the Robertson family — as seen on the popular reality TV show — calls home, your big beard quest begins. With only a few configuration options available to start, you customize your clean-cut yuppie look before you embark. Once you look as prim and proper as you can, you set out to lose your yuppie-ness and ultimately grow a respectable beard that would make any member of the Robertson family proud. To do so, you must complete a series of challenges. With each success comes a monetary reward. These rewards can be used to outfit your character with more and more outlandish gear.
With a definite affinity to the zany and often times silly antics that goes on in each episode of the show, each redneck challenge will have you attempt some small feat of stupidity. From coloring Willie’s grayed out beard, to waking Si from a deep sleep, to flipping red peppers into the mouth of Jase, the challenges are at times more like a series of ritual tasks you need to master as you are “redneckified.” Once such challenge that has hurt my beard has been hunting. My trigger happy finger seems to not quite know its bucks from its does.
With each game you have three beards to protect. Fail at accomplishing any one of the challenges and a beard will be shaved off. Once all three beards are shaved off, the game is over and your final score is tallied. In this backwards world of redneck tomfoolery, think of the scoring system as the exact opposite of earning three stars: You instead want to keep three beards.
The real difficulty of the game is to continue completing each challenge, one after another, for as long as you can. There are fifteen different challenges that you randomly are faced with. The more challenges you complete, the more difficult the next challenge will become. For instance, Willie’s beard gets more gray hairs that you need to color, Si sleeps a little more soundly and requires you to shake him a little more vigorously, and Jase’s appetite for red peppers grows stronger, requiring you to feed him more and more peppers. Each challenge is also timed and must be accomplished faster and faster as the intensity meager increases from one to ten.
True to form for any redneck, there is definitely more stuff to acquire in the game than there are things to do. With each advancement in levels you can visit the shop and purchase more bandanas, glasses, camouflage and t-shirts for your avatar. Before long you will start to look like one of the Robertson family: Not the younger yuppie looking kinsfolk, the older fellas with the long beards.
After you have played the game for a while and have achieved a decent beard and accumulated enough stuff to make you happy, you realize that there just is not a lot to do in the Louisiana backwoods wilderness. That is when you turn your attention to the four wise men in Beard Talk. Beard Talk allows you to evoke each of the main characters and play back some of their best one liners from the show.
If you are a fan of the popular television series, you can take your secret big beard fantasies one step further by also downloading A&E’s Beard Booth photo app (Free, iPhone). With it you can super-impose a beard style from one of the main characters on the show, Phil, Willie, Jase or Si, and make this weekend’s big beard quest truly complete.