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Lock'n'Roll iPhone Guide

25/03/2009 Family Eclectic Gamer Guide
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Lock'n'Roll iPhone




Further reading:
Puzzle games

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Lock'n'Roll is a simple little dice strategy game, similar to Poker or Rummy in that the player has to collect sets of dice on a board, according to colour and number. There are 'Pro' and 'Lite' options available - both exactly the same game, only the Lite version has a discreet advertising banner at the top of the screen.

It's one of those type of game genres...

Puzzle games pose the player a problem to solve, and then provided a limited set of tools with which to solve it. This can be as simple as arranging 2D blocks on top of each other, or as complex as balancing objects in a 3D environment. The initial interaction is what usually hooks players in for the first few hours, but it is the game's ability to scale both the size and complexity of each puzzle that distinguishes the truly excellent experiences..

But why is it any better than the others...

Lock'n'Roll is an intriguing puzzle game that looks simple, and then sucks you in to trying to better your high score as you try different strategies to achieve the best combinations. You simply touch to roll a set of dice, then drag each differently coloured and numbered die onto a 4 x 4 board. Once you lock the dice down, they are fixed in place. The hardest combinations are cleared from the board, making space for new dice to be added to the board as you play.

The best feature of this game is undoubtedly its simplicity. You can get the hang of it really quickly, and then pick it up and play whenever you have a few minutes to kill. You don't have to concentrate for ages, and the game can easily be paused without losing progress.

A bit like poker, this game is a combination of luck and skill. Sometimes the luck element can make the gameplay frustrating but this is also what keeps you coming back for more!

So what experience should I play this game for...

People will play Lock'n'Roll for its purity as a strategic puzzle game. When I first got my iPhone, this was one of the first few games I downloaded, and it remains my absolute favourite, I come back to it again and again. It's simple, but addictive; easy to play, yet requires a fair bit of thought in order to get a really high score.

While we were away on holiday recently, Lock'n'Roll turned out to be our main entertainment, passing the iPhone around the family and taking turns to better our high scores. The children enjoyed playing, but the real competition was between the adults who actually bartered drink-making duties in return for more iPhone time!

And when can I take a break...

A game can last from a few seconds to half an hour, depending on the score achieved and how long it takes you to think about your next move! It is handy that you can leave a game and return to it later.

This is a great game for who...

Lock'n'Roll is simple enough to be played by very young children, and while they may not be able to think strategically enough to achieve very high scores they may still enjoy rolling the dice and organising them by colour and number, and beginning to think logically about the placement of each die.

Older players who enjoy puzzle games will love this, and come back to it frequently. Possibly not the game for hardcore gamers who might want more diversity in a game, but on the other hand, getting to the top of the online leader board for Lock'n'Roll will provide more than enough challenge for any gamer!

Written by Clare Sharpe

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Clare Sharpe writes the Eclectic Gamer column.

"I think it's probably true that most of us have grown up with computer games - I have a dark and distant memory of some sort of black box with two controllers that allowed us to play an extremely primitive and pixelated game of tennis."

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