Michael Brough's O [$1.99 (HD)] is a high speed, all fingers-on-deck two-player game so ingenious that it'll make you wonder why no one's created it sooner. O feels like a classic board game evolved to make use of the large touchscreen. The goal is to fling circles of the same color into your score area until you reach 70 points; the value of each circle increases by one each time you combo. The secondary goals become breaking your opponent's color combo and stopping other colors from entering your point area.

Soon enough, everyone's playing finger-twister, as the circles randomly generate. While the rules of the game remain simple, the human competitive component elevates the game even further. Some finger karate may occur, loosening your player's grip on pieces. This really intensifies the psychological hold O takes on you, in addition to the panic of waiting to see where and what color pops up next.

As O battles escalated, I had to create some additional rules for a slight reprieve. One such rule involved restricting play to only one hand. Word on the street is that some fights haven taken place off of the iPad, too.

It's not that the game is visually violent. Creator Michael Brough ditches the pixel aesthetic of his equally brilliant Glitch Tank [$1.99] and Zaga 33 [$0.99] for a clean, crisp design. Each player's point area changes hues depending on what color they should combo.

I've thought hard about O's shortcomings, and I couldn't find any. I suggested a special win screen if your color combo never breaks, but this condition will rarely occur in practical play. Side note: the developer had to list the game as O. because O was too short.

I really think O should become a global past-time. It evokes pure adrenaline and emotion, while stimulating social interaction. Everyone with an iPad 2 or iPad 3 and a partner to play with should own it. Grab it now while it's still on sale for $0.99.

  • Jensen_G

    Considering the awesome potential of the iPad for in-person multiplayer, I've been amazed that more games like this haven't come out, and am always looking for a good multiplayer game to play with my girlfriend. Instabuy for me, hopefully it's worth it!

    • John_Polson_IGB

      I'd be shocked if it wasn't worth it. This was a 5-star game for me that the iPad desperately needs more of. Getting people together in-person is such a valuable thing video games have the power to do these days and sadly seems shirked for online capabilities. 

      I hope you come back and share your experience, too. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/gustavskoglund Gustav Skoglund

        iPad same screen multiplayer is the best, love the fact that people sit together and laugh, scream and cry :) Will definitely get this, perfect for the coffee breaks at the office. We released a same screen multiplayer game called Castle Raid a month back (working on a big update now). It is a RTS game for two persons. Check it our if you're after more same screen multiplayer gaming.

    • http://twitter.com/JyriKilpelainen Jyri Kilpeläinen

      Well, stay tuned as I'm currently making a game with local multiplayer for 2 and 4 players... :)

  • subshell001

    I for one enjoy Michael Brough's games.

  • Ampix

    Is it Retina? Doesn't look like it in the screenshots, and I am so spoiled by it.

    • http://twitter.com/smestorp Monster Brigade

      Developer here - it's not, sorry! I only have an iPad 2 and previously I'd been doing low-res games where retina wouldn't have an effect. I'll try to enable it in an update soon. But with the fast pace of the game and with the iPad sitting between you rather than looking at it straight on I think you're not going to notice much difference!

  • ducksFANjason

    Wow looks like good fun!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GHIIHTRJXIOZCAF2GESNKZH264 himanshu

    I love such games on iPad. TriTriObelisk was a huge hit in my office. Now to get on to "O.".

    By the way,  cool story about O. and why not O :)

  • witedahlia

    Congrats on a gorgeous icon! I don't have an iPad right now but from what I can tell the graphics for the game look gorgeous. For what it's worth I believe an icon is very important to a game's success. Ive actually deleted games that had ugly icons (OCD I guess). Anyway, when I get my iPad this will be an instabuy.