I don’t remember how I originally stumbled across Faif, a battle-based puzzle game from Beavl Games. I do remember that the game was new at the time, and it was multiple years ago. It wasn’t even finished at the time I first downloaded it, before Early Access existed on Google Play, but I loved it all the same.

I’ve just gone back to it for the first time in a very, very long time and the game is still just as good. It also appears to have received a facelift at some point since the last time I played it — a good sign as it plays nice with my S9+.

The goal of Faif is to reduce your opponent’s life to zero without being killed yourself. The playfield is a board made up of four types of tiles: swords, skulls, hearts and gems. The player then picks five adjacent tiles for their turn, and one of the five is randomly selected by the game.

How you pick the five is where all the strategy is. You see, the swords only do damage to your opponent when they are randomly picked AND if you’ve selected some skulls in your line of five, with the damage equal to the number of skulls chosen. The downside to selecting skulls is that if they are randomly chosen from your five, you take damage instead.

So if your opponent has four hearts and you are feeling extremely lucky, you could always pick one sword and four skulls. Roll the dice.

Most likely, you’re going to get a skull and take a loss of health yourself, but if the sword is picked, you’re going to do four damage. Or if you’ve spent gems on an upgrade that boosts your attack power by one and you picked a single skull, a single sword, and three hearts, the outcomes include: doing two points of damage if it lands on the sword, taking one point of damage if it lands on the skull, or gaining one heart if it lands on any of the three hearts.

It’s intuitive, but punishing. I’m not very good at the game, even if I love the way it plays, looks, and sounds. I even love the name, to be honest. It’s just a really neat little game that also features cross-platform multiplayer. It’s worth a download today as much as it was when it came out.

Faif is $1.99 on Google Play.


James founded Destination Android and writes about sports for Vox Media's SB Nation. He is a mindless jerk who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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