Aug 14, 15
Pins and Needles

Pins is actually a game all about both pins and needles, hence the name. While not particularly pretty, there isn’t much to be looked at in the first place. Pins takes a simple act and makes it an even simpler yet more fun mobile experience.

The real kicker here is that Pins has two distinct modes that, at first, appear completely identical. The truth is that these two modes are exact opposites of one another. In both modes there is simply a spinning circle that I assume is a ball of yarn, or thread, or whatever you use pins and needles on. In the Pins game mode you are tasked with sticking your remaining pins into the ball without touching any two rounded pin handles together. In the Needles game mode the pins are already in, except they’re missing their handles and you need to attach all of your rounded handles to the existing needles.

Pins is one of those games that seems so simple that it’d be impossible to lose, but actually becomes quite a challenge. With little complexities in the equation like slowed time and wheel reversal the game gains a whole new layer of difficulty. Soon the yarn balls become full of far too many needles, spin too fast to aim accurately or change directions at the most inopportune moments.

Leaderboard integration is great, but as score is simply how many levels you’ve defeated, pretty much every player who’s finished the game is tied for first on the leaderboards. There’s a lack of any real music, and it feels like levels should have a time, or score, or anything else to indicate player-ability. The graphics are extremely simple, but it matches the extremely simple idea. A bit more visual flair would be appreciated, but is not necessary. A lack of any sort of tutorial is a bit confusing at first, but as it is a simple game the concept is not hard to pick up.

Pins is, in all aspects, and enjoyable game. As a free title with no microtransactions and ads that are few and far between, it’s quite refreshing. The fact that Pins is really two games in one is astounding, and game center integration is always appreciated, especially when it’s optional. The game has a few leaps and bounds to make towards AAA professionalism, but the game itself is stellar.