Quick Look: Hand of Greed HD


I remember when I was a kid, there was a game of reflex in which one player placed his hand on a table and spread his fingers as wide as possible.  The other person stabbed a knife (or in our case, a pen or pencil) between the fingers on the other’s hand as quickly as possible.  The goal was to come as close to hitting a finger as possible, without actually cutting one off.  This game was masterfully portrayed in the movie Aliens, when one character used it to demonstrate the advantages of being an Android as he blazes through the game at warp speed.  This game reminded me an awful lot of that dangerous game of reflex. 

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All you need to do is grab the treasure from each screen.  Blocking your path, however, are various knives, blades, and other sharp objects.  As you might expect, the movement patterns of these obstacles grows more difficult as the game progresses.  Some blades just spin, while others move across the screen, and still others work together to form a wave of blades.   And you will not just be facing one of these blades on their own.  You will face increasingly complex combinations of different types of blades, as well as blade motions.

Each level consists of several screens with various treasures strewn across the screen.  All you need to do is tap the treasures in order to collect them (tap matching treasures in sequence for bonus points).  Watch out though, those knives are sharp, and they will cut you.  When they do, blood will spray across the screen. 

Take three hits and your game will come to an end.  Don’t worry though, some levels also feature the coveted red ruby jewel, which will restore your health, giving you an extra hit opportunity.  Also working against you is the timer blazing across the bottom of the screen.  Run out of time and you are done, as well.

Once you have tried a particular level, pay attention to the title screen at the beginning.  This will display your critical stats, including the number of each style treasure you earned.  Collect all of the treasure on the level without taking a hit in order to win the Mastered Award.

I was really quite impressed by this game.  I actually played it longer than most games I review because I originally downloaded the iPhone version, and wanted to wait for the iPad version before writing the review.  The graphics and animation looked great, and flowed through the game.  I did find that the whole thing got to be a bit redundant after a while, but this was offset by the significant increase in the challenge posed by some of the more complicated knives on the higher levels.  i will say, however, that I was disappointed by the disparity in pricing between the iPhone version ($0.99) and essentially the exact same game on the iPad ($2.99).  Don’t worry, though, because both the iPhone and iPad will allow you to download a free trial consisting of the first levels (the full game has a whopping 50 levels and two different difficulties.  In the end, this is one of those quick and dirty games which is just perfect for filling those random bits of downtime throughout the day (nothing says waiting in line at the DMV like a screen full of knives).

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