The App Review: Crossroads HD (iPad)

4 Aug 2010

How is it that the simplest games are the most addictive ones? Crossroads is a line drawing game where your job is to help trucks and cars find their way home without colliding.

When I first fired up this app I thought it must be a children’s game because of the simple premise of tracing lines along a path from vehicles to their final destinations.

crossroads japan

This place looks far too zen for traffic jams

The thing is, this is quite addictive and it is a game of strategic time management: as more and more cars fly onto the screen you must trace a line to guide them to their destinations while making sure that paths do not cross to cause a collision, thus ending your game.

And just as you think it’s getting easy some obstacle will appear in front of you, obscuring your view. On the fairground map, it is balloons, on the North Pole map, it is ice, and so on.

crossroads halloween

The moral dilemma of CrossRoads: you are most likely aiding and abetting grave robbers.

Obviously, the appeal lies in the fact that the longer you hang on in there, the higher the score and OpenFeint integration means you can brag about this on Facebook or Twitter and get your name on the leader board.

Like some other games on the App Store, you can swap out the soundtrack for your own iPod music.

But here’s the killer feature: multiplayer. You can share a map between two players over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and this works between iPads and iPhones.

This is an innovation I hope to see plenty more of at the App Store. The Scrabble app, for example, is also appealing on this level and lets you use iPhones as Scrabble racks over Bluetooth.

Overall, it does feel a bit like a souped-up version of playing with toy trucks but Crossroads is my guilty pleasure.

Platform: Apple iPad
Price: €3.99 on App Store