Don't let the cute pictures fool you; this game sports some serious, high-speed action.
Mandora is a new fast-paced action game (iOS version here) where you're set with the task of harvesting multitudes of cute little mandora plants (? vegetables? what are these things?).
Sure, these Kirby-ish little mandoras may look cute and tame, but let me assure you that they certainly grow with the quickness. Each game is timed at 30 seconds, but you'll learn that you need to call upon all of your skills of concentration and manual dexterity if you're going to get some respectable scores.
I sat down and started playing for what I thought would be a quick game or two, but before I knew it, it was 2 hours later and I was exhausted. This game is addictive. Not only is it a crazy, fast-paced game, the publishers have put quite a lot of effort into the little things to make a quality overall experience.
Here's the official trailer that gives absolutely no sense of how frantic this game actually is:
Let me get past the game's cutesy style and explain just how hardcore it is.
When you start up the app, tap Game Start to bring up a three-second countdown to the start of the harvest.
Once you start, little mandoras start popping up all over the place, and it's your job to pick em up when they're ready. All you have to do is touch the leaf area and swipe up to pull them out of the ground. Continue until the timer hits zero.
If this was all there was to the game, it would just be another take on the Whack-a-Mole formula, but Mandora tweaks this a little bit with some special timing rules, which are:
- -It takes about a second from when the mandora sprouts until it ripens (develops leaves). Pluck out the mandora too early and you lose points.
- -After ripening, mandoras are good for picking for about 2 seconds.
- -After this, the mandoras wilt for about a second. You guessed it; pull one out here and you lose points.
- -There are some rare mandoras that give you higher points or extend your play time, but these guys are only available for a single second.
So you essentially have a two-second window to pick out the mandoras. If there was only one mandora to deal with at a time, this wouldn't be a problem. The difficulty lies in the fact that mandora multiply like nymphomaniac rabbits. When the screen is covered with growing mandoras, 2 seconds per mandora is an extremely challenging window to hit. Getting your timing down, knowing when each mandora will ripen, and keeping track of which ones are going to go bad soon makes for some pretty involved gameplay.
Add to this those rare mandoras that only pop up for a second, and you realize that you've got to keep your focus over the entire screen in order to succeed. You need reaction speed, concentration, decision-making skills, and nerves of steel in order to do well in Mandora.
Each game lasts 30 seconds, during which you must be in full concentration mode. Getting into the game and playing for 2 hours straight has turned my brain to Jello.
But let's not overlook the game's style. The drawings and sound effects are all really cute and well done. When you pluck a rare mandora, it gets saved to your profile.
So that's Mandora. Individual games are super-short at a mere 30 seconds, but it's so addictive that it'll have you playing for hours.
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Time played: about 2 hours
Device used: HTC Desire HD (001HT)
Publisher: Rayark Inc.
Last updated: 11/13/2012
Compatibility: Android 2.2 or higher
Translation by Jason Morgan