iPhone-placeholderShorty after writing about Hive on the iPhone I was lucky enough to receive a free copy from Lotusland Studios.

At first boot I was a little put off by the 3d layout of the playspace and tiles, but after a little time with the game I came to enjoy it. The interface and controls seem well thought out, and the camera automatically moves and zooms as it needs to (this can be turned off in the options if you don’t like it.)

If you’ve played Hive, then you pretty know what to expect from the game itself, and know that the game shines on its own. The beauty of the iPhone version is in the details.  For starters, the game includes the Mosquito tile, an expansion to Hive that was originally hard to come by. You can also change the playspace and the tile themes. For tiles, you can play with the 2nd edition wooden tiles, the 3rd edition bakelite tiles, or a high contrast set of tiles that are basically just bright white and dark black. The soundtrack to the game is very well done, and not too distracting to play. You can also listen to your own music while playing, a feature that most iPhone games seem to have.

All of that is spit and polish. How well does it play?

The games beginner bots are pretty easy for an experienced player, and that was one of my peeves of the game. You have to unlock harder difficulties, and for those who know the game, it’s tedious to go through playing the easier bots. Once that’s said and done, there’s plenty of challenge to be had in single player games.

The game also supports 2 players on 1 iPhone, but sadly no multiplayer over the network or bluetooth. Hopefully these features make it into a future version.

Overall, Hive for the iPhone is a solid win, and at around $5, you can’t go wrong.