March 2, 2015 9:46 AM | Luca Colosso
Terry Cavanagh's latest creation is quite an unusual one, as it combines several aspects of various genres that you wouldn't normally expect. There's a lot of strategic thinking involved, a grasp of mathematics helps, too, but to keep it within everyone's reach, tasty burgers have been added to complete the work. Grab Them By The Eyes is a turn-based strategy game, it's free to play, and its significant difficulty will keep you hooked way beyond the first playthrough.
As soon as it loads up, an exhaustive intro portrays the not too unlikely situation. You're a burger seller, and right in your strategic corner, a new competitor has just entered the business. Arguing doesn't bring you anywhere, so the two parts come to the conclusion that whoever by the end of the week has served more burgers will earn the spot.
Customers, however, aren't attracted by the taste, nor by the look of the meals you're offering. Instead, you'll learn that all it takes is a shiny sign with a catchy slogan. For that matter, every day of the following week you're going to be heading to the sign shop. From which you'll be able to buy exclusive effects, new colors, and even clever ideas for persuading messages. The key word here is 'exclusive', because every new day will start off with a turn-based purchase of limited sign resources. Both you and the competitors get one turn at a time, and while bearing in mind the money at your disposal, you need to choose which new effect you think it's more valuable.
Said effects are divided in 4 categories, and are represented by cards with specific colors. Some of them will get you more customers, some less, so it's important that you choose wisely based on the potential reach they offer which is displayed in the upper right corner of every card.
The second part of the game, then, is about assembling your sign before the day starts. Here, you must compose two alternating messages that can (and should) be accompanied by a nice psychedelic border, bright colors, and the most good looking transition possible. The higher the total reach of your bought resources is, the better you day will be in terms of earnings.
Once you confirm, the sale starts, and you get to see quite a lengthy scene of hungry strangers deciding where to buy their lunch. If you're losing, it's quite disheartening. Though if you're ahead, the piercing sound that every sale triggers becomes more like a sweet tune of victory.
Along the scoreboard that will be brought up when the day ends, the effectiveness of all the components you used will be decrease by one. That way, every single round of new purchases and sign-assembling matters equally, either if you're winning or losing. Making a comeback is still extraordinarily difficult. But if you try your hardest, and you succeed at manipulating the odds of getting good effects at a discounted price in your favor, beating Grab Them By The Eyes is possible in every situation.
You can play the game online, for free, on Terry Cavanagh's website.