Freak Tower could have been named The Whole Kit and Kaboodle, as everything in the universe, possibly even the proverbial kitchen sink, is thrown into this schizophrenic, yet ultimately fascinating game. The above photos hint at a mixture of a Jules Verne sea tale and a Rampage knock off. Who are these oddly dressed eccentrics loitering near a high rise? Does any of this make sense? But more importantly, is all of this incoherence worth the trouble?

I still have no idea if the Freak Tower developers were ambitious, or simply believed mixing and matching genres would have been a great bit of fun. Of all the apps I've played within the past year, this title wins the, "What is this game all about" award. Your job is to build a mixed unit skyrise with some floors serving as deluxe live-in pads and others functioning as various business establishments.

The first order of business is to get a slew of people in your property, which is accomplished by tapping on a slot machine. As each new inhabitant or future employee enters the building, you must determine if they could work at your diner, burger joint, or man the card tables at your in-house casino. Some newbies will simply take an elevator and plop themselves in one of your residential floors, which is great since your employed tenants will pay rent.

Playing a skyrise simulator would have suited for a pleasing enough time, especially since there are enough interesting looking "freaks" to man the complex. But what if the developers added sea monsters and an overgrown cactus just for kicks? Not only must you build floors and manage your residences and business -- but gargantuan creature killing is now an added chore!

The keys to killing these enemies is to arm the civilians with their own special weapons, and as an overstocked landlord you will also have an array of bombs and poisons to help the cause. If the monster at hand climbs to the top of your building, you lose the battle. So building as many floors as possible keeps the creature at bay, giving you and your fellow colleagues a few more seconds of killing time.

Freak Tower intentionally throws a hodgepodge of tasks to accomplish, and as conveyed by its discordant (yet not off-putting), jazzy score, this title should throw you off your game upon first impression. There really is way too much to take in within the first several minutes, but once you process all the elements, building a tower and killing freaks eventually makes enough sense to keep on playing.

Since it's free, Freak Tower does make it hard for gamers to collect jewels, a currency that's essential for upgrading your building and your various weapons. The good news is that once you create enough businesses in your complex, they will make you money while you're off playing some other app. Of course, earning a bunch of jewels over coins would have been preferred, but what more can you expect from a freemium title?

If you spin three jewels in your slot machine, a dealer will come and throw you a few shiny bones, so grabbing jewels is not a one-in-a-million kind of thing. Plus, any chance I get to arm Acapulco with a bloody cleaver without spending a dime is really not a bad deal.

I still can't figure out if Freak Tower has any kind of method to its madness, but at this point I'm ok with its crazier than thou swagger. It's fine if a lobster or an octopus tries to take over the neighborhood. I'll just kill these beasts and jack up the HOA fees, so everything's coming up roses. As long as they stay away from my jewels, Freak Tower won't be leaving my iPhone anytime soon.


App Store Link: Freak Tower for iPhone | By GungHo Online Entertainment | Price: Free | Version: 3.4.0 | 48.2 MB | Rating: 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating