• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPhone  header logo

Async Corp.

For: iPhone

Office blocks

Product: Async Corp. | Developer: Powerhead Games | Publisher: Powerhead Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Async Corp. iPhone, thumbnail 1
In a medium that prizes escapism, it’s a daring idea for a game to actively remind you of the drudgery of work.

Yet Async Corp. does exactly that, surrounding its simplistic puzzle mechanics with corporate dronespeak as you take a job at the titular company with the aim of exchanging and sending ‘data packets’.

Accomplishing this task is simple – you’re presented with two 4x6 grids of coloured units, and asked to switch single units between the two displays to create square or rectangular packets of 2x2 units or larger.

You can only move the units if you can create a packet, whereupon you can try to increase its size or tap on its smiling face to send it.

Packet in

Aware that a happy workplace is a productive workplace, the Async Corp. keeps its staff stimulated by providing four different ways to accomplish this singular task.

Quota mode asks you to keep sending packets to reduce a steadily-rising meter in the centre of the screen, while Async mode will only let you move to the next level if you completely fill a side with a single colour.

Zoning has no fail state, but you’ll only be able to move up a level if you can send packets at a fast enough rate to stop a meter from depleting (handily, you restart at the level you left off at).

Finally, there’s the self-explanatory Freeplay mode.

All square

Though you’re essentially fulfilling the same task in each, the modes offer very different paces. 

Quota sees you alternate between releasing a few small packets to lower the meter, or saving up larger ones to send in one go.

Async gives you as much time as you need to mull over your next move, while Zoning prizes speed above all else. If you can simultaneously sync up two packets at once, by transferring the right unit to make a match on both sides, then so much the better.

With the mechanics and the structure working in perfect harmony, all that’s left to get right is the presentation, and developer Powerhead absolutely nails it.

The design is winningly simple – bold, striking, and clear – and the sound effects give you just the right kind of aural feedback, the bleeps and bloops tapping into your brain’s pleasure zone and compelling you to keep matching those squares.

Desk jockey

The ability to change colour scheme is another nice touch – with further hues unlocked as you progress - and the sporadic emails that arrive in your inbox, offering tips or amusing facts, add a dose of personality to the clinical desktop aesthetic.

That the data packets have cute smiley faces and occasionally let out an adorably lo-fi sneeze is the icing on the cake.

The App Store is hardly shy of puzzle games, but Async Corp. is undoubtedly one of the very finest, and a significant achievement for a developer you should all be adding to your watch list immediately.

 
Async Corp.
Reviewer photo
Chris Schilling | 11 July 2011
Beautifully presented and utterly compelling, Async Corp. is one of the best iOS titles you’ll play all year
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Aug 2011
Post count:
1
Me2 | 09:38 - 3 August 2011
Looks great. How about an iPad version?
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
279
NotSpam | 16:01 - 18 July 2011
Damn that name is easy to forget: Async as in Asynchronous - gotcha - *off to the app store*
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
279
NotSpam | 20:49 - 16 July 2011
Kudos to the dev(s) of this concept. I'm super impressed with this idea. : )
Joined:
Jul 2011
Post count:
2
gunxsword | 22:44 - 11 July 2011
The reviewer did not include any reference to Lumines.
*Sign...
This game should have gotten a 10 though ;)
POPULAR REVIEWS LATEST COMMENTS
LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS VIDEO REVIEWS