App of the Day: Axe in Face for iPhone

Today's App of the Day: Axe in Face, an addictive game in which an adorable but vexed viking defends his daffodils from a horde of encroachers. By heaving his battle axe at their heads.

App of the Day: Axe in Face for iPhone

What is it?

Axe in Face, iPhone, $1. A maddeningly simple game in which you play as a viking defending his daffodil garden by hurling his axe at other vikings. The gameplay is simple: drag your finger to determine where the axe goes. But then you have to factor in the rate at which the attackers are advancing and remember that you can't throw your axe again until it makes its way back to you. Along the way different types of attackers complicate your stand and power-ups offer a second line of defense.

Who's it good for?

People who like vikings; people who like daffodils; people who like decapitation. People who have or would like to practice the ability to plan ahead in the very short term.

Why's it better than alternatives?

It's got cute illustrations and that play-it-when-you-have-a-few-minutes-to-kill appeal, but it's hard. Sometimes maddeningly so. But the game dynamic is so simple that you never get frustrated with the game, just with yourself for drawing an overly complex path for your axe to fly. It's got elements of tower defense games, puzzle games, and drawing games all in one.

How could it be even better?

RETINA DISPLAY SUPPORT. It looks fine on the iPhone 4, but it could definitely do with some added pixels. A greater diversity in attackers would be nice, and perhaps some variation on the defense front, like different types of axes, or the ability to throw two at once. The iPad's bigger display is a great canvas for some expansion on the concept.

You can grab Axe in Face in the App Store for $1.

For more apps, check out our weekly app roundups for iPhone, iPad, and Android

Video music: Kevin MacLeod