How much of a multitasker are you? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a dozen tabs open in your browser, three other programs on your desktop and a game or two waiting on your phone. But that might just make you a singletasker with a short attention span. If you want to prove that you’re pro at juggling tasks, pick up VineKing [$1.99 / Free]. It will put even the best multitasker to the test.
In VineKing, the green lands of the world have been destroyed, leaving nothing but cold stone, lava, and monsters. As the last Vine King, its your job to bring back the luscious greenery that once existed, but the forces of darkness won’t give up easily. Each of the game’s 30 levels is a piece of rock that you need to win back, and you only have one tool: the vine that grows from your head.
The vine can be used in two ways. To reclaim ground, draw a path over it. When the vine whips out, the rocks will shatter beneath that path and grass will grow through. To defeat the monsters that come to steal back the ground and destroy the Vine King, tap on them. Those two tasks will keep you occupied, but there’s a problem: you only have so much vine to work with. Once your green meter goes dry, you’re toast. To keep fueled, you need to collect the seeds that pop out of the cleared ground and from defeated monsters, but while you’re sucking up seeds you’re completely vulnerable.
While you’re balancing those three tasks, the monsters are hard at work taking back the ground you’ve cleared. As the game becomes more difficult, it’s easy to play yourself to a stalemate – as you clear more land, more monsters show up and take it back while you fend them off. To keep from getting overwhelmed, you can upgrade the Vine King. Each time you complete a level, you’re ranked for how many seeds you picked up, how many monsters you destroyed, and so on. That rank translates to coins that you can use to purchase upgrades, like faster vines and better seed storage.
You’ll need a well-upgraded Vine King and quick fingers to master later levels. As you progress, the monsters get faster and more aggressive. The levels also get more unfriendly, with lava pits that burn your vine and crystals that block your way. I found that grinding earlier levels for coins made later ones more manageable, but skilled multitaskers might be able to get by with less. You’ll want to go back to earlier levels either way, to collect Game Center achievements and earn gold rankings.
VineKing is very loveable, with charming art and a soundtrack that keeps things stressful. It’s also a strikingly original game. Our forum users seem to love it, and there’s a lite available if you remain unconvinced. You’ll be giving your drawing, tapping and gathering skills a workout in no time.