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Laszlo Czigledszky put out a new mobile game called Pathians for the iPhone. This title is a card playing game using; you guessed it, a deck of playing cards. Pathians puts a spin on things with their objectivity and goal needed to win. Using Pathians you will effectively eliminate cards with equal or adjacent face value. Starting with the first card you pick, you find another based on the next card’s value. Example: You pick cards in numerical order either descending or ascending or equal value to create a chain. Once that chain is complete, the cards drop out of the way to make way for your next move.


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As you progress you will find that your columns have dropped and re-aligned the cards making the next chain you create more of a challenge with your next move. You have to pick at least two qualifying cards to create a chain, however the longer the chain, the more points you will score. As you eliminate cards, your goal is to strategically clear the entire board. Pathians kind of reminds me of Bejeweled, but with extra ways to make chains and eliminate the cards for more points.

You have to think carefully, moves must be performed as long as valid moves are possible. To gain the most points you will try to chain up as many cards in a series as you can. If you have not cleared the board and no more moves are available, you will have to tap the card deck to start a new game.

Once you load up Pathians you enter in a player profile and follow the instructions on the next page, when done reading, tap the screen to begin the game. The next screen appears giving you the options for “Play” “Help” Stats” and “Credits”. I started with the help files and read over the object and goals to get a crash course in how to play. Next thing I did was tap Play!

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Specifications:

Pathians

Pathians brings a new twist to the line-up of solo card games. If you enjoy games like solitaire, collapse and chain select puzzles, then this is your game. The rules are simple but solving the puzzle maybe challenging. Just pick a card to start, then select a neighboring card with an equal or adjacent face value and repeat until the cows come home. The last remaining cards in a column can be moved.

Remove all the cards from the board to improve your ranking. Accumulate points, beat the records and rescue the Princess along the way. To win even more points, rack up high combos by selecting as many cards in a series.

Features in v1.0:
Unique game play
Intuitive controls
Beautiful hand drawn graphics
Superb visual and audio effects
Multiple profiles
Online ranking system (coming soon)
Compatible with iPhone & iPod Touch
Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or Later

Downloading this game is a very easy 4.0MB, which is compact and very small when compared to other puzzle strategy games on the market. While this is not a 3D experience, the 2D graphics are superior to other titles on the iTunes download list. At $0.99 you have to wonder if the game is any good. This we will find out. Once downloaded, I tapped the trusty ole Pathians icon and started my gaming experience. Let’s check it out!

The first thing I did was pick the 8 of Spades and then the 9 of Spades. You will find Joker cards which are wild. The Joker becomes any card you need to complete a chain, so naturally I picked it to get to the Jack of hearts, then the two Queens and then the King.

Since you can descend in any order I taped the Queen and then back to the King of hearts. Afterwards the only card left in the chain was the Ace of diamonds and since the chain closed up with no more moves, the cards are eliminated and are burned off leaving the 5 & 7 of Spades to fall below into their ordered columns.

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Once I completed that chain, the cards fell below, making up a new starting point. At this time it’s a good idea to start thinking what would be the next best move to try and clear the entire board. You have to remember that just because you clear a chain, does not mean you are going to win. You have to think about your next moves to set yourself up for a win as the game progresses.

At this point I need to use some strategy to figure out the next move for the best outcome later on in the game. The next move I made was choosing the Ace of Spades, 2 of Clubs and 3 of Diamonds. This was only a three card chain, but was my best guess at getting closer to clearing the board. The next chain I created was the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 multi combo as seen below. Hope this move is the right one!

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So far so good, I just love the strategy of the game. Right now I am very enthused with playing the game and it’s got my all my attention. Certainly this title is good at keeping you engaged with strategy and thought. To continue the game I opted for the 2, 3, 4, 5 chain in the lower right of the card columns. Will this be the right choice? Only time will tell. For my next move I chained up the 10 of Spades and the 10 of Diamonds and Joker and then the Jack, hoping for the best.

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After getting this far with the chains I have eliminated, I must say I really enjoy the game play, and the strategy, and thought that goes into it is challenging. Okay, back to the game, at this point I need to look over what’s left and see if I can keep making chains and while still leaving other chains for future moves. It’s getting down to the wire and this is where it counts.

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Okay the game is just fun! It looks like my only move left is running with 6, 7, 8 combo. With that in mind I don’t think I will be saving the Princess in the tower. If you notice, the Princesses hair grows longer each time you score points, while Prince charming at the ready is awaiting his prize. Unfortunately I didn’t save her, but you can bet I will be back to try again.

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Conclusion:

This game managed to keep me coming back for more. I ended up playing this thing until my battery went 20% from dead. Pathians is capable of providing hours of fun while keeping the gamer locked in to do better, besides who likes to lose at playing cards anyway? The cost versus value is superb costing only $0.99. The price makes this puzzle strategy title the best bang for the buck, in its category.

I really enjoyed playing Pathians so much that I am keeping this one for personal use. The wife loves it and I do too. We each spent several hours playing and now she has commandeered my iPhone. That alone can spark world war three around here, looks like I will be investing in a second iPhone just to keep her hands off my smart phone! I couldn’t find much information about the programmer or author of this title, but one thing is certain, this is a great game at a super value. Not to mention this game is iPhone OS 3.0 compatible and is very stable.

Over all experience is awesome and the game play keeps you engaged, keeps you coming back for more and why shouldn’t it, after all that’s the stuff a good game is made of! Download it and see for yourself. Besides what’s spending a buck going to do? Break the bank? I don’t think so. Give it a shot! You’ve got nothing to lose!

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Pros:
Above average graphics
Excellent concept & design
Unique integration if multi genre’s
Super Value

Cons:
None

Grades:  
Overall score 9 10 thumb1 Pathians iPhone Game Review
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Pathians iPhone Game Review
Performance score 9 10 thumb1 Pathians iPhone Game Review