To infinity, and beyond.
Pocket Climber joins the constantly growing list of "endless" games for smartphones and tablets, except instead of running through hostile territory, the goal is to ascend a rather large building while at the same time dodging obstacles and collecting gold coins. Simple to play and devilishly addictive, it's yet another free game that makes iPhone and iPad so difficult to put down.
Part of what makes this title so much fun is the controls. Characters Troy and Mandy auto climb, and it's your job to swipe left and right to move in those respective directions, or upwards to jump. The latter is especially key, since the terrain often changes from easily reached ledges to walls that require a LeBron James vertical leap to clear
On top of that, you'll need to avoid randomly thrown objects at all costs, from TVs and furniture to fire extinguishers the building's residents chuck from open windows. There's also the random old lady and gorilla blocking your path, or an elevator slowly making its way downwards.
These things are easy enough to dodge, except when it comes to gathering coins. The game's designers often throw a handful of currency dangerously close to something bad, tempting players to make a particularly risky gamble that more often than not results in death.
As for the coins, you'll need as many as possible to purchase all the gadgets from the in-game store, from a climbing helmet to protect against junk to the always reliable coin magnet and even a jet pack, all of which feature upgrades that boost efficiency.
This is all well and good, except when players paint themselves into a corner. Basically, you'll make a move (to the right, for example), unaware that less than a second later, some oaf will toss a TV out his window and you'll have no place else to go. Doesn't happen often, but you've been warned.
That aside, Pocket Climber delivers a surprisingly fun experience that's great for just a few minutes or hours per day. Sure, there are in-app purchases, but the game never beats you over the head with spending money. Deceptively tough but mostly fair, it's a free iOS title you should absolutely try, even if you're afraid of heights.
What's Hot: Smartly implemented touch controls, endless climbing fun, small but effective list of power-ups, game doesn't push in-app purchases, free-to-play.
What's Not: The inevitable cheap death.