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Beware playing O. with anyone who's aggressively competitive. This minimalistic orb-grabbing game has the potential to bring out the beast in even the most docile opponents. Games may start off friendly enough, but when it gets down to the wire, smacking hands, flicking fingers, and wrestling digits is par for the course. You might just find yourself declaring a thumb war... or worse.
Minimalistic, rather ugly, but still relatively entertaining, O. pits players against one another on opposite sides of the same iPad. It's a lot like air hockey, actually, only in reverse. Colored orbs pop up on the screen at random, and each player scrambles to flick, swipe, and claw at the screen to scoop them up into their own goal. Flicking consecutive orbs of the same color into your goal builds a combo multiplier to boost your score, making it possible to rocket ahead of your opponent in short order with some careful on-the-fly-strategizing.
The first to 70 points is declared the victor, but how you get there is part of the fun. With such a simple set of gameplay rules, there's a surprising amount of room for underhanded tactics. Sending a different colored orb into your opponent's goal to break their combo chain is a viable yet sneaky strategy. There's also the whole meta-game of meddling with your opponent outside of the game itself. Accidental bumps and finger-related injuries are inevitable, but you'll find some folks naturally lean towards cheap maneuvers and hand grabbing shenanigans.
As amusing as matches can be, O. doesn't offer a whole lot of content, nor does the presentation impress. There's only a single competitive game mode included, and it's pretty limited in scope, despite some decent replay value.
The bottom line. O. has its moments of crazy multiplayer fun, but it really depends on who you're playing against, and there's not much to this bare-bones package to keep you playing long-term.
iPad running iOS 4.1 or later
Easy to pick up and play. Strategic combo system.
Limited scope. "Bleh" visual style. Only one mode.