Faif isn’t your run-of-the-mill puzzler. It’s not another match 3 with a fresh skin and a catchy tune. It’s a game that I find myself playing on and off the couch, with or without the TV blaring in the background. It’s my time-killing app when I’m narrowly dodging shivs on public transport, and my entertainment of choice on a cramped flight to Boston. It’s the revitalization of a genre that, while long standing and ever-growing, has become rather unrelieved. I’ve written about Faif in the past, and discussed the influence and ideas behind the game with Nicolas Saraintaris, the project mastermind at Beavl.
It’s safe to say that I’m a fan of both the game and its developers. And how could I not be? Before I wrote about the game, I was an ordinary customer like any other. I bought Faif through the Google Play store while it was in early-access, played a few rounds, and shot an email to Beavl with an idea for a power-up. To my surprise, they replied to my message, thanked me for my contribution, and went on to implement said power-up into a build along with heaps of other player-suggestions. I was instantly made a lifelong fan — not because my idea made it through, but because my suggestion mattered enough to warrant a response.
Fortunately, the fan suggestions didn’t stop once the game released in full, and neither did Beavl’s interest in making Faif the best game of its kind. In its latest update, multiple new features were implemented, making the already fantastic game just a smidgen better. Here’s a breakdown of Faif’s latest:
- 1. Cross-platform matchmaking (iOS, Android, Web).
- 2. Randomized battles against other human opponents.
- 3. Battles versus friends (using the same 4-digit code).
- 4. New special tiles unlocked during play.
For those of you unfamiliar with Faif and its nifty concept, there’s an RPG beneath the tile-matching surface not unlike Dungeon Raid. Players will battle increasingly tougher opponents by selecting various tiles on the board, and dying sends you back to the beginning. However, rather than rely exclusively on tile choices, there’s a gambling element that randomly selects one of the five tiles players highlight. While that certainly puts a seemingly heavy emphasis on luck, with a plethora of power-ups to purchase, the balancing of health, attack and tile elimination during particularly hectic encounters, and the proverbial tower of ever-trickier baddies to climb, there’s enough strategy to satisfy the diehards without sacrificing the casual flare the tile-matching genre is known for. It doesn’t hurt that the game is gorgeous, either.
The point is, if you’re not playing Faif yet, you should be. It’s available now on both Android and iOS devices for $1.99.