|Multiplayer:||Pass 'n' play, or via game center|
|Universal App:||Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)|
|Purchase for iPhone:||Use link below to purchase universal app|
|Purchase for iPad:||
You Against Me
GD Star RatingYou Against Me,
Who are you? Who am I? What am I against? Deep psychological questions like these are what drives humanity to throw up their hands in surrender and vegetate on the couch playing iPad games. Is the new game “You Against Me” the key to enlightening your psyche, or will its unfathomable mysteries turn you into a vegetable? Let’s find out!
You Against Me is a two-player game with one green player (aka “You”) and one orange player (aka “Me”). In a solo game the computer defaults to playing You, leaving you to play Me. If you want to play You, you need to find another person to be Me, thus requiring some sort of social interaction or just an advanced case of schizophrenia.
The game board is a five by five grid of spaces numbered 1 through 25, and there are 50 double-sided cards. Each card has a green side and an orange side, and each side has a number (1-25) or a star (which acts as a wild card). The numbers on the two sides of the same card usually aren’t the same, and the game alternates between three different decks, so don’t bother trying to make a cheat-sheet.
Each player is dealt five cards and the remaining cards are divided into two draw decks of twenty cards each, one with the green side up, one with the orange side up. You may only play the card side of your player color on each of your turns, but you can always draw from either deck.
On your turn you play one of your cards onto the board space of the matching number. If the space was empty, you score a point. If the space had your opponent’s card on it, you score a point and your opponent loses a point. If the space already had your card on it, you get nothing, which makes it just like discarding a card, which you can do instead of playing a card.
If you get three of your own cards in an orthogonal row on the board, or get three cards in the same corner, the space of the center card becomes “locked” – meaning neither player can place any more cards on that space, and you gain a point in addition to the normal scoring. (Or at least that’s what the rules say. I’ve found that locking a card near a corner can generate inconsistent points.)
At the end of your turn you draw a card from either draw deck. If you draw from the deck of your color, you know exactly what you’re getting. If you draw from the other deck, you’re drawing blindly as there is no way of knowing beforehand what number is on your side of the card.
The cards in each player’s hand are public knowledge. Your cards are always visible to you at the bottom of the screen. Your opponent’s hand is made visible by holding your finger on the draw deck of their color.
The game ends when all of the spaces on the board have been covered by at least one card, or as soon as both draw decks are depleted. High score wins, and ties are possible. Once you get the very simple hang of it, the typical game against the computer lasts about two minutes.
Given that the entire game is squares of color with numbers on them that don’t move or change all that much, You Against Me really nails it. There are squares, there are colors, there are numbers, and if you want to go crazy, there are thirty-nine other color schemes you can pick from, just in case green and orange clash with your iPad cover. There are thwipity-thwapity and clickety-clackety sounds that you can turn on or off to suit your whim. And to top it all off, there is background music that will make you feel like you’re trapped in an elevator with the ghost of Billy Preston on an infinite descent through purgatory, which you will turn off to save your sanity. If you want more features than that, go play Small World. You Against Me can be played solo against two levels of computer AI, as a pass-and-play, or online.
The glaring weakness with You Against Me is the game itself. It’s actually less of a game and more of a logic tree. If you have a card that covers one of your opponent’s cards, the only logical move is to play that card because it leaves you with a net gain of two points and hampers their control of the board. Barring that, if you have a card that will allow you to lock a square, play that card. Otherwise, play a random card that your opponent doesn’t have his own copy of. When choosing which deck to draw from after your turn, if the card of your opponent’s color is immediately useful to your opponent, draw it so that they can’t. Barring that, if the card of your color is immediately useful to you, draw it. Otherwise, draw from your opponent’s deck, as there’s a chance that the random number you draw might be useful to you.
While the above strategy is the only logical way to play, it doesn’t guarantee you any victories because of the overwhelming luck of the draw that pervades the game. Not only can a bad opening hand doom you from the start, but it is all too common to have a late-game hand of cards that are completely unplayable due to locked spaces.
Perhaps the only saving grace of the game is its incredible brevity. Play it once while waiting in line at the grocery store and it will zip by so fast that you won’t notice how you had no true strategic decisions to make, and you can enjoy the thrill of victory before buying your papayas. Playing it repeatedly will leave you in a vegetative state questioning your own identity, sanity, and App Store purchase history.
If you are looking for a very short game that requires very little thought, You Against Me might fit that bill. But then again, you could just save your ninety-nine cents and pit your right hand against your left playing solo rock-paper-scissors where you’re guaranteed to win sixty-six percent of the time.
As for me (or, when I’m playing the game, “You”) I find You Against Me to be ruled by randomness, undone by logic and devoid of strategic depth. With that in mind, I have decided the only logical course of action is to avenge my time lost playing this game by sentencing it to the void of the briny depths where a random assortment of sea monsters will devour it bit by bit, thus freeing my mind to ponder life’s deep psychological questions like Who are you? Who am I? and Who stole the kishka?
Check out other great games:
- Individual games are quick.
- Takes a minute to learn.
- No real strategic choices to be made.
- Ruled by randomness.
- May take a lifetime to forget.