Couplinked, a frustratingly challenging Windows Phone game

If you're looking for an action/arcade game for your Windows Phone that is a tough nut to crack, take a look at Couplinked.

The game has you controlling two nodes (or dots) that are connected by an electrical field. Your job is to collect colored rings that are flying across the screen with the corresponding node you control. You also have a red ball that flies through from time to time that will ruin your day.

Available for low-memory devices, Couplinked may not appeal to everyone but there's little doubt that this is a Windows Phone game that is frustratingly challenging.

Couplinked's main menu offers options to start a game, launch the level editor, view the gaming instructions and access the game's options. The options menu includes your gaming achievements, statistics, sound settings and display options that allow you to choose the color of your nodes and to turn off the node connectors (more on this in a second).

There are two gaming modes with Couplinked. You have a survival mode where you test your matching skills to see how far you can survive without having a ring pass by and a levels mode that has over fifty gaming levels.

The game concept is rather simple. You have two nodes connected by an electrical field (or lightning). You move the nodes around by touching/scrolling your finger around the Windows Phone screen to catch colored rings that fly by with the matching colored node. Your first inclination is to tap on the nodes themselves to move them about. While this does work, it also allows your fingers to get in the way.

As an alternative, you can control the nodes from either corner of the screen. The node connector option will draw a line from your finger touch to the node that is being steered. There's not a virtual joystick present (which might not be a bad idea) and while the node connectors seem to clutter the screen a little, once you get the hang of controlling the nodes you can turn them off in the game's settings.

Game Play

Game play is best described by the Windows Phone Store description for Couplinked.

"…your tears of frustration will soon be washed away by the pure joy of knowing that everyone else sucks too. That's right. You're not alone, champ. We're here for you. We're building a community, thriving off the tears of others. Through the good and the bad, the thick and the thin, rest assured. You'll probably only be crying for the first day or so."

I will have to admit the very first level of game play is ridiculously easy. From that point on however, the game description is spot on. While the game concept is easy, being successful at Couplinked can drive you nuts.

Along with matching up the colored rings that you have to catch, you have a red ball that skirts by on occasion. If the red node makes contact with either of the nodes or the lightning, the game ends. The same result will occur should you match the wrong colored ring with one of the nodes.

Oh and as an added bonus, you also have split or double rings that pass across the screen that has to be hit twice by the node to capture it.

I would love to give you advice on how to conquer this game but it has given me fits. The only suggestion I could offer is to replay the first and second level of Couplinked over and over and over until you get the hang of the gaming controls. And even then with the pace of the game picking up as you move through the levels, the game will still give you fits.

Overall Impression

As frustrating as Couplinked is, the difficulty isn't at the level to make you throw your Windows Phone across the room and buy a flip phone. Don't let the promo video fool you (has to be a computer simulation); the game will drive you nuts but in a challenging, 'I can't believe it's that hard' fashion. It will take you some time to get used to the gaming controls and even when you do get a handle on the controls, the pace of the game will continue to give you fits.

Don't get me wrong. Couplinked's difficulty isn't necessarily a bad thing. The gaming concept is simple but mastering it (or just coming close to mastering it) will keep you on your toes. The game has a clean, polished appearance and with over fifty levels of game play, plus the level editor, the game should have plenty of staying power.

The game may not appeal to everyone (luckily there is a trial version). You may be the type gamer that prefer challenging games that offers you a glimmer of hope at success. Then again, you may be the type of gamer that prefers a game that will humiliate you to no ends. Such is the case with Couplinked.

Overall, as difficult as Couplinked can be, the title is a nice addition to the Windows Phone gaming library. Sure, it may drive you to tears but if you are in the market for a difficult Windows Phone game, give Couplinked a try. Just don't expect immediate success.

  • Couplinked – Windows Phone 8 – 10MB – Trial / $.99 – Store Link

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.