When it comes to apps, sometimes simple is best, as demonstrated by this ridiculously simple, but insanely addicting little app. To fully enjoy Tree Connect you will need: two thumbs, normal color vision, and catlike reflexes, and it’s even better if you have some friends around to challenge.
To play, all you have to do is press the matching button to the selected color tile. That’s it. There’s a long line of color tiles with little arrows indicating the selected tile. Push the matching button and the arrows move along to the next tile in the line. There’s no secrets or tricky gameplay involved, just a lot of rapid button pushing. It’s kind of like playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band without any timing involved.
I actually found the in-game instructions to be really confusing at first, which was strange, since the game mechanic is simple enough for a toddler to learn. Trust me when I say that once you’re actually playing, the game takes all of two seconds to figure out, and the bright, clean graphics, smooth performance, and driving oontz oontz soundtrack keep adult brains fully engaged and challenged.
The main difficulty is that it’s easy to get too excited, and then your brain starts to get ahead of your fingers or vice versa, and you find yourself making all kinds of mistakes. Mistakes don’t affect gameplay at all, but it does cause your final score to suffer. You can choose how the number of colors you want, from 2 to 5, or how long you want to play, from 15 seconds to 3 minutes, so every game is fairly quick, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself playing over and over again trying to top your high score. Speed is definitely a factor, but errors will cost you, so sometimes it is far better to pace yourself and find a comfortable rhythm instead.
Admittedly, there really isn’t a whole lot more to the game beyond matching the colors as fast as you can, but OpenFeint access and Facebook and Twitter Connect make it easy to challenge your friends, which brings a whole new competitive edge to the game.
Personally, I was shocked at how much fun I was having with TreeConnect, since it really doesn’t seem like much. But it’s so easy to get sucked in again and again, which is the hallmark of a good game, and at $0.99, this is a super-cheap and satisfying <5 minute fix that is great for killing a few spare moments of time here and there. Super easy and super fun, TreeConnect is one of those games you pick up and suddenly find you can't put down. It's even kid-friendly and about as simple to learn as you can imagine, but for all of that, it's still something that just about anyone can enjoy. Here is a video demo of the TreeConnect app on the iPhone
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