The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
I can’t even tell you how difficult it is some weeks to pick a Game of the Week. This week was definitely one of the hardest yet, as it was neck and neck between several different titles. But then Crossy Road (Free) came along and just blew everything out of the water by being about as near a perfect mobile game as I’ve ever seen. The premise is simple: It’s an endless Frogger, meaning you’re tasked with getting your character safely across various–hazards like busy freeways, railroad track and waterways–one hop at a time. The game uses voxels so it’s pixely and retro but in a nice, clean three-dimensional way. The gameis presented in an isometric viewpoint and simple taps and swipes move your character along.
It all sounds pretty basic on the surface, but it’s really the details that set Crossy Road apart. For one, the number of playable characters is extensive. Your default character is a chicken (Get it? Why did the chicken crossy the road?) and as you play you can collect coins which go towards unlocking new characters through a random gumball machine process. The different characters don’t really have any gameplay advantages, but they’re fun to unlock and use, and certain characters actually change up the visuals in the game a bit. For example, the Frankenstein character makes the game look like an old, scratchy black and white movie reel, or the penguin which turns the world into a winter wonderland. There’s a total “Gotta catch ’em all" vibe to the unlockable characters in the game.
You can tell a lot of thought went into Crossy Road being a mobile experience. As mentioned, controls are simple taps to move forwards or swipes to move left, right or backwards. The game can be played in either portrait or landscape, and switches on the fly. Needless to say, this is my new favorite “one-hand one-thumb" game. Being an endless high scoring game, leaderboards are a big deal, and Crossy Road does an awesome job here by actually printing your Game Center friends’ best times right smack dab in the playing field, making it feel especially good to pass up a buddy’s score.
Finally, it has to be mentioned just how well the pay model for Crossy Road is implemented. It’s free to play, and you can earn the additional playable characters by collecting coins through playing or they are available for 99¢ apiece. They are in no way required, so buying one or two (or eleven) is just a nice way of getting a character you want right away and giving the developers some money for their efforts. Also, there are video ads in the game, but they are entirely opt-in. Every so often after the end of a run you’ll be given the option to watch a video ad for some extra coins. It’s totally not in your face and easily ignored, but it’s also a nice way to earn some extra cash should you want to. This game should be the poster child for how to do free to play right.
There’s so many more little details in Crossy Road that are worth mentioning, but just writing about it is making me anxious to play some more so I’ll just stop here. Plus it’s fun to notice those details and experience all Crossy Road has to offer on your own. The game is free, so every single person who is reading this now should at the very least download and try Crossy Road, and drop by our forums for to talk about it with the developers and the community.