Let’s talk games. Mindless, time consuming games. As unfortunate as it is, I spend all too much of my time in meetings throughout the day. Of course, I’m always paying very close attention, but there is that occasional time when the meeting just doesn’t have anything to do with me, or is boring me to death. That’s when I turn to the wonder of my Android phone. As of late, that has meant these two games from Game Circus, LLC.: Coin Dozer, and Prize Claw.
Coin Dozer is a video game version of the coin drop redemption games you see around at places like Dave & Buster’s or various arcades that might still be open. The game is simple enough: Drop coins by tapping the screen. Try and get the coins situated so that they will push more coins over the edge winning you more coins, prizes, power-ups, etc.
Prizes come in different colors and, when you complete the whole set, you get a power-up that will help you throughout the game. Certain prizes also serve to complete a puzzle scene that, when all the pieces are collected, give you a large prize (coins, XP) and unlocks a new puzzle.
You start out with a set number of coins which regenerate 1 coin every so many seconds. Coin Dozer is free, but with most of the games today, you have the option of buying additional turns/items. In this case, it’s buying extra coins. So if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for more coins to automatically refill, you can simply buy more.
There’s not really much more to it beyond that. The graphics are cartoonish but still well done. There’s little skill involved, most luck that the coins push the right direction and your special items don’t fall off the sides. It’s not very exciting, but I certainly found myself going back to the game to check on how many coins I had and dropping a few while I waited for whatever was going on. It’s certainly an excellent time waster that easy to play and easy to disguise….just in case you’re in a meeting.
Prize Claw is a video game version of those aggravating claw machines you see just about everywhere. You know the ones. Plug in fifty cents to move a claw around to what looks like an easy win only to have the claw make some limp attempt to grab something and come up empty. Fortunately, Prize Claw is significantly more forgiving than it’s real life counterpart.
Unlike Coin Dozer, there’s quite a bit more to Prize Claw. There’s actually some skill involved with lining your claw up correctly over whatever prize you’re trying to grab. You slide your finger over the joystick to move the claw and hit the button to drop it. You can rotate the machine left or right to get a better view of where your claw is currently positioned. You also have a variety of “magic” power-ups you can use that are unlocked as you progress through the game. You use magic each time you use a power, but it will regenerate over time.
The machine is filled with a variety of different prizes: stuffed animals, toys, candy, gems, and coins. During the game, you’ll be given objectives to complete that will give you XP, additional turns (or grabs), coins, or other unlockables. Objectives usually revolve around collecting a set number of prizes (i.e. Collect 10 candy prizes or 100 coins).
All the prizes are part of a “set” that will give you a reward for collecting the entire group. Additional grabs, coins, increase in grab regeneration time and/or maximum, etc. Coins allow you to purchase upgrades to your claw, your machine, or your joystick, as well as to purchase more grabs. Gems provide a variety of rewards depending on their color: additional grabs, magic, faster claw movement, or dropping additional prizes.
As with Coin Dozer, there is also a puzzle scene that you can complete from prizes that will randomly drop throughout the game. Completing the puzzle grants you additional rewards. As you progress through the game you are allowed upgrades to your claw and your joystick. Upgrades provide you with better grabbing strength, better balance, speed, improved regeneration of magic/grabs, and prize balance, just to name a few. You can also purchase (with in-game coins) different machine looks and different frames for your puzzle scene, though these are purely cosmetic.
Again, there’s not really much to this game, but it’s a really fun time waster. The graphics here are also very cartoonish but well done. There are a few bugs with the graphics here and there, coins being grabbed where there aren’t any or prizes being dragged along the floor instead of being picked up, but generally no major issues.
Where both of these games seem to have problems is their longevity. Prize Claw is especially hurt by this flaw. Once you get to a certain level and have collected the highest level upgrades, the game becomes way too easy. In Prize Claw, the highest level claws almost never drop an item, and once you’ve collected all the puzzle pieces nothing new really happens. You simply start over with the same scene. Granted, there are two different games in Prize Claw to play (Space and Animal), but again, once you get to the top level, things just get boring. There does, however, appear to be “coming soon” sections in both games indicating that more content will be added later.
The good news is, these are both free games. So even if they do get boring after a time, you haven’t spent any money, so there’s no real loss. If you’re looking for something to just kill the time that doesn’t take much thought, you’ll want to check out both of these games.