Shall we play this game?
On the list of things we didn't know we needed, a video game based on the 1983 film WarGames starring Matthew Broderick ranked right up there. Besides, who in their right mind would think of resurrecting such an old movie? Answer: the developers at Be-Rad Entertainment, who not only acquired the official license, but also managed to create one of the more fantastically addictive titles on iPhone and iPad. Shall we play WarGames: WOPR? Oh god yes.
In a cool twist, you take on the role of the WOPR computer created by Professor Falken to simulate World War III. Eventually, you get plugged into the NORAD Combat Operation Center and from there, engage characters from the film in match-three gameplay, where the primary goal is to annihilate your opponent and bring about thermonuclear war.
To that end, it won't take long to pick up the basics, but what's great about WarGames is the extra layers of depth involved in defeating David Lightman (Broderick's character) and other worthy challengers. To whittle away their health, simply match three or more red missile icons. In addition, doing the same to the green icons adds health, while making gold dollar signs disappear produces much-needed cash required to use upgrade-able (via RAM) tactics in combat, from launching all missiles on the board to destroying certain symbols via tank or deploying a bomber. Then there are blue radar icons that help you earn an instant power-up, such as receiving a health or currency boost.
Thing is, the developers aren't afraid to throw you a curve or two. Take the poker variant, for instance. The game transitions from whittling away an enemy's health to figuring out ways to drop their missiles to the bottom of the screen, whereupon which they explode. You only have a limited number of turns to eliminate these suckers, making each move critical.
Meanwhile, the talented studio made excellent use of the license, from the computer's familiar voice to images of various characters/actors, along with well-written dialogue to boot and catchy music that sucks you into the experience.
Simply put, WarGames is awesome. Head-to-head multiplayer would sweeten the deal, but as it stands, this is one of the finest match-three puzzlers on the App Store, as well as a shockingly good movie-based game; there aren't many of those available. Regardless of whether you're a fan of the flick or not, it's an essential purchase that'll keep you enthralled for hours.
What's Hot: Tricky match-three gameplay, game-changing power-ups, outstanding use of the movie license, multiple tactics to deploy, over 40 levels, iCloud support.
What's Not: Definitely needs multiplayer of some sort.