My latest app addiction, Agar.io is fun, challenging and incredibly simple. Originally created by Reddit user Zeach as a browser-based game, it has since been Greenlit by Steam and was released this month for Android and iOS. Incredibly addictive, it’s a game that will keep all ages entertained for hours.
Players are small circles (called cells) that grow only by eating smaller cells. The game has two rules: 1) Eat anything smaller than you and 2) Don’t get eaten. Smaller players are much, much faster than larger ones so it’s not as easy as it sounds. To make things more interesting, the mass gained from eating is constantly being shed automatically (a percentage every second based on size) so players that have gotten extra-large have to eat a large amount of either pellets or other players to maintain their size. If someone is gaining on you, you can split yourself into two cells, one half of you sent hurtling quickly away while the other half remains behind. This is also a useful ability for bigger cells to catch up with smaller ones, engulfing and swallowing them. A similar feature is mass ejection where part of a cell ejects from the cell, making them smaller. Any other cell can eat the mass like a normal pellet and, if launched at a pursuer, make them larger (and slower).
The only obstacle in the game are viruses, spiky green balls that aren’t controlled by anyone. Consuming a virus gives the player the virus’ mass, however, it also splits them into many tiny cells and easy prey for other players. That’s why they’re perfect cover for smaller players being chased by giants who can’t easily maneuver around the virus.
When playing via browser, players can customize their skins to display a number of different pictures. This makes the game increasingly hilarious after you’ve been eaten, or eaten by, Barack Obama, Mars, or the Ukrainian flag.
Actual gameplay varies by platform, but it’s all simple. On a computer, players use their mouse to control what direction they fly in, space bar to split and the W key to eject mass. On Android (I haven’t played iOS), they use their fingers to control direction and have on-screen buttons for splitting and ejection. Game play is the same either way, with players attempting to eat each other to form the biggest mass and reach the top of the leader boards. Recorded world records can be found here.
I give this game a firm five out of five screaming cats, for its sheer fun factor. It’s a testament to the fact that games can be simple and still be amazing.