I admit it, I have a bit of a problem when it comes to “match three” games – I just can’t seem to avoid at least giving them a chance. There are a fortunate few that are able to bring just enough of a difference to the table to actually make them interesting. They come in role-playing types, building types and even old-school types, each uniquely entertaining in its own way. I also have to admit that when I first saw Chip Chain show up in the Play Store I was not all that convinced that it would be my cup of tea but decided that I would go ahead and give it a go.
From the developers at AppAbove Games, Chip Chain brings with it a touch of strategy to the fold that is the match-three genre. Centered around the idea of being seated at a casino game, Chip Chain presents you with a playing board that you and the dealer will slowly fill with numbered chips (to go along with a few ‘X’ chips thrown in for good measure). The idea is absurdly simple – match groups of like-numbered chips to score points and earn jewels. Naturally, the smallest group you can match is three chips, however just because you can match a set of chips doesn’t mean that you have to. You and the dealer will alternate placing chips on the board, and luckily you can see quite a few chips ahead of what you will be given – no such luck for the dealer’s chips though. It is possible to let the game board fill up, at which point you need to start matching groups. All you need to do is tap on one of the chips in a group to gather those chips up, in their place a new chip of one rank higher will be left on the board.
If you have placed your chips strategically, it’s possible to build together long chains of chips – hence the name of the game – to get higher and higher scores. You might also have noticed that along the bottom of the screen you have access to a few playing cards. With these you can alter the flow of the game by one of a few ways, for example getting to pick up and reposition a chip that’s already been played, or changing the value of a chip. The cards come in very handy when trying to create some chains, so don’t forget that they are there. You can earn more cards by building up chains in succession, as opposed to jumping around the board to pick up a new chain.
There are multiple game modes to Chip Chain, however unless you have unlocked them all they aren’t all necessarily available every day. The developers have decided to only have certain game modes available daily, to keep you coming back for more. The locked out modes today are the Timed and Long games, while the Short and Daily game are available. I’ve not been able to play the Timed or Long due to my schedule, however in the Short game mode you only have 40 chips to place on the board while in the Daily game you are presented the same grouping of chips as everybody else playing, so you can see how you stack up against your friends. The Long game has no chip limit, so you can play until you’re blocked from making any moves at all.
Chip Chain does have in-app purchases, so you can unlock all the game modes or add additional chip values and cards to play. However – and here is the really cool part – AppAbove is really doing it right when it comes to IAP in that you don’t have to use them. It is actually possible to play enough to be able to afford to cash in jewels to unlock everything in the game. Trust me, once you start playing Chip Chain it should not be all that long before you’re able to do so.
Chip Chain was also one of the first games out to take advantage of the new Google Games API, so you can log in using your Google account to see how you rate compared to your friends. There are achievements as well, 43 total, to go along with leaderboards for each game type, so there should be plenty to keep you busy for awhile. For a freebie, I would have to say that Chip Chain is an excellent pick up. It’s easy to get into and once you do it’s nearly impossible to put down. If you happen to be a fan of the match-three genre, or just enjoy a good bit of strategy, then I can highly recommend you give AppAbove’s Chip Chain a play.
Chip Chain is available for free on the Google Play Store
EDITOR’S NOTE: From this review going forward, titles that include support for the new Google Games API will be listed as (GGE) in the title, short for Google Games Enabled.]]>