When a developer comes up with a great core gameplay mechanic, there doesn’t need to be a whole lot else going on. The developer of 15 Coins understands this, and has created a minimalistic layout that offers a deceptively challenging arcade action game. You play as a single white ship flying against an orange background trying to collect the coins that randomly appear. The ship moves automatically, and you either tap or tilt to rotate the ship’s angle, and it all seems nice, and easy. Except, clones are introduced as you go, and these black ships follow your exact path leaving a trail of obstacles that are mimicking you.
15 Coins is reduced down into its core concept as your goal is to collect 15 coins while avoiding an ever increasing number of clones following the path you have traveled. You can turn the tables on the clones with a power-up that freezes time, and lets you smash through the clones. Everything in the game is time based, so the coins only last for a few seconds, and so does the power-up. You need to be quick to move from coin to coin, because the clones pile up to the point that there are over 20 black ships flying around screen. It can be hard to maneuver, especially since the clones are following your previous pathway, so you essentially create the dire situation that appears. All of it combines for intense action where you can die in an instant, and there are dangers everywhere. The game could use a bit longer timers, or some visual indication when the power-up is about to deplete.
The game includes three different difficulties, but even easy is challenging enough in attempting to collect the 15 coins. The other two modes amp up the speed significantly, and you will lose so many times along the lines of Super Hexagon, Duet, and Wave Wave. The best part, or worst part depending on your point of view, is that 15 Coins keeps calling you back, so that you’re ready to restart the second you lose. You will be drawn to try to reach 15 coins, as just one wrong turn can end a round, and you know you can do better. It’s also so simple to try again, and the minimalistic design lets you get lost in the coin collecting frenzy. You can also try out different strategies to either focus on the coins, keep going after the power-ups, or changing your route to keep the clones in certain spots. One of the most intriguing aspects of the game is that there’s an artificial intelligence that seems to place the new coins in your old path, so you have to contend with your clones right where the new coins appear. Then you have to decide if you’re greedy enough to risk going after a coin in a heavily trafficked area, or just wait for the next coin.
15 Coins ($0.99, Universal) offers engaging intense action that is a should buy that will keep you coming back for more.