Brandon Boyer

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Update: Shortly after publishing, snap7 was removed from the App Store, but will be returning after the new year under a new name. Until then, consider this an introduction to Chain Factor and a preview of what’s to come, and I’ll update again when the game’s re-released. As noted via this January post, snap7 has officially been re-released to the App Store as Drop7. Check the updated post for more information!

In my top freeware games of 2007 recap, I noted a then-mysterious TV ad campaign related Flash game called Chain Factor. It was a curious mix of falling-block and number games, and, for me, stood so well on its own that it completely overshadowed the promotional ARG purpose it was supposed to serve.

It was cerebral but accessible, and, as I said at the time, was most surprising for blending the mechanics in a way no one (in this age of casual copycats) had thought of before. And it had that fantastic, circular, rising/falling Steve Reich-ian soundtrack. The ARG ended, the show was picked up for another season, and the masses cleared out, but I still found myself continually coming back for another run.

That’s why I’m so happy, then, to have realized this morning that area/code, the developer behind Chain Factor, have quietly ported the game to the iPhone as Drop7.

Billed now as Tetris meets Sudoku (which hits all the right notes, but check Factor‘s rules page for a better gist), the new version has adopted a much cleaner Helvetica design (which gives me NYC subway nostalgia) but kept — more importantly — that music. It’s also added a new Sequence mode which drops identical discs for all players to compare global high scores, though, so far as I can tell, they’re not charted on the web anywhere quite yet (also: a paltry 87,560 so far, if you’re wondering).

From top web game of 2007 to one of the top iPhone games of 2008’s a very happy progression, and Drop7 comes very highly recommended.