Developer Martin Jonasson aka Grapefrukt has been making games for well over a decade now, but it was 2013’s Rymdkapsel ($3.99) that was the first commercial success and the one that really put this developer on the map. It’s described as a stripped-down real-time strategy game where the goal is to build an expansive base in order to harvest resources while simultaneously fighting off waves of attacking enemies. The brilliance in Rymdkapsel is that the rooms that you build in your base are all shaped like tetrominos, aka the block shapes in Tetris, and so you wage a constant internal battle between building a tightly-knit base of pieces that all fit together nicely and ensure your resources and defenses are in close proximity so your workers can switch between them easily; or build more haphazardly so you can sprawl out further and reach the various monoliths spread around your building site which will give you access to upgrades. Either strategy can be a winning one and often the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
While Rymdkapsel is available on desktop, it was originally designed with touchscreens in mind, and this is truly a game that feels perfect for mobile. We loved it in our original review from 2013, and chose it as our Game of the Week. In the summer of 2015 Rymdkapsel received a huge update adding a new Zen mode which eliminated enemies altogether and just let you build out your base in peace, and a Plus mode which acted sort of like a harder remix of the game’s original mode. These new modes just added to what was already a must-have mobile game. If memory serves correctly Rymdkapsel received full screen support in a small maintenance update in early 2018, but this week’s update for sure includes full screen as well as support for split screen on the iPad.
The next commercial project for Grapefrukt was a strategic matching game called Twofold Inc. ($3.99). Well, calling it a “strategic matching game", while accurate, is definitely selling short what it has to offer. There are so many underlying systems in addition to just matching colored tiles on a board that this is more like a full-blown, highly complex strategy game that just happens to use matching tiles as its core mechanic. It drew comparisons to the legendary Threes! which I think were apt, as both games are the type that slowly reveal their subtleties the more you play and the best way to improve is to simply play over and over and experience the game more and more. Which is pretty easy to do since the “one more go" factor is off the charts. Like Rymdkapsel, we enjoyed Twofold Inc. in our review and chose it as our Game of the Week when it released in early 2016. This week’s update is its first in more than 4 years and provides full screen support and the same iPad split screen support that Rymdkapsel received.
Both Rymdkapsel and Twofold Inc. are brilliant games that are perfectly suited to the mobile platform, and it’s nice to see Grapefrukt taking the time to revisit them and give them the touch ups they deserve to continue being awesome well into the future. Also, if you don’t recognize the developer or these games, you may actually know Grapefrukt by way of their third big release Holedown ($3.99) which launched on mobile in the summer of 2018 and became a major mainstream success, and has since made its way to both desktop and Nintendo Switch. Holedown wasn’t really in need of any major updating, but Rymdkapsel and Twofold Inc. definitely were and based on Grapefrukt’s Twitter activity this year you can probably expect those latter two games to make their way to other platforms like the Switch sometime in the future.