Scratch that itch
Itch! is a very simple but strangely enjoyable little puzzle game that is perfect for picking up when you have a few minutes to spare. It's perhaps not one to keep you going for years, but as far as addictive little puzzlers go, you could do a lot worse. The game presents you with a seemingly straightforward challenge, which is to arrange groups of fleas in the same color and in patterns of either straight lines or squares. Doing this successfully increases your score, but the problem is that new fleas are being born continuously, meaning that you're constantly fighting against the clock to make patterns without being overwhelmed. If you don't keep up with the rate of population growth then you'll find yourself failing your challenge and it's game over. There are three different modes to play through, these being timed, rounds, and puzzle, with this latter option perhaps being the most interesting one, as you're presented with some very tricky little head-scratchers which need to be solved. Although in essence, Itch! could be seen as another tile-matching game, like Big Kahuna Reef, it's actually very different and makes for a highly entertaining little romp. It's super easy to pick up, with the rules being very straightforward, but there's at least a little bit of depth to keep you hooked, while the sheer pace of things is also quite refreshing, with the time element adding some nice pressure. The visuals aren't anything to write home about but the gameplay is strong enough to support this one.