Daily App: Jenga brings a piece of the puzzle game to your iOS device


If you don't have time at home for a quick game of Jenga, don't worry -- you can bring the game along with you and play against others on your iPhone. Natural Motion, the team behind the Apple-showcased Clumsy Ninja, created a version of the Jenga game along with the help of game inventor Leslie Scott.

The iOS version of Jenga keeps the same gameplay as the original puzzle block game. You have a traditional tower of blocks that you must carefully disassemble and rebuild without causing the structure to collapse. The controls make it easy to remove and replace blocks and the physics that control the collapse of the structure are realistic.

The game features several modes of play including a single person challenge and multiplayer mode where you play against another person online. There's also an pass and play mode for playing in a group and an arcade mode that challenges you to move fast and match colors as your earn coins.

The biggest issue with Jenga is the game itself -- it's a virtual game and cannot capture the tactile cues that are critical to the gameplay. When you pull out a block on the iPhone, the experience is fluid and smooth, which is much different from the real-life game. What is missing are the subtle tactile cues like the the resistance when you remove a block and the wobbling of the structure that tell you whether you've made the right choice or a costly mistake.

Also, the app is not updated for the iPhone 5/5s, which is a mixed blessing. Those with a newer iPhone might be annoyed by the borders around the game, while those with an iPhone 4/4s may appreciate an older game that runs well on their device.

Diehard fans of the Jenga game will enjoy the casual gameplay and the multi-player modes. Jenga is available for free from the iOS App Store so you don't have to pay anything to play it.