Glow in Review – Shines Brightly, but Not Bright Enough

glow4My initial reaction at starting up Glow was, “Wow, I love the art style!” That stays true throughout the entire game, where the painstakingly hand-animated visuals, with their unique neon look, sure are eye candy. The basis for Glow is to capture pieces by drawing free hand, gathering combos and chaining together bonuses.

Glow is a well done game, and the gameplay starts off simple, but can be complicated if you want it to be. The basis of Glow is to “capture” pieces by enclosing them with a hand traced line, earning points for the different types of combinations that are achieved. There are the basic combinations of solos, pairs, and full houses etc, but the real charm to this game comes when trying to unlock specific combinations, which are achieved by capturing specific pieces together at a time. Players use logic to come up with combinations that score tons more points, such as a face, a plane, and the Eiffel Tower to unlock “Revoir Paris”. The most fun comes when searching for these new combos, since each new one comes with a sense of achievement, and strategy must be used to find ways to get these combinations.

glow2Glow isn’t so much about trying to gather as many pieces as possible, since a mix of 4 icons that don’t produce any combos only give 50 points, and don’t extend the time, while a 2 icon combination gives 100 points. This makes it so players must be careful in choosing what icons are circled together, and what’s more is that combos will extend the time period available, while non combinations don’t affect it at all. Another way to get even more points is after completing a loop, you can keep your finger on the screen to try and score another capture. Even though Glow seems rather simple, which it is on the Casual difficulty, there’s only a short time given to complete the loops, so players must be fast and decisive.

glow1Glow isn’t all about combinations though! You have to be wary of the pieces in red, which are creatively labeled, such as the above “Delayed” symbol for the travel level. Not only does capturing a red piece cut down on the time, but any combo that was grouped together will also be canceled out.

Sounds great right? Unfortunately, Glow is rather short, with only 9 different levels, and even though there are 3 difficulties, Casual, Medium and Challenging, there isn’t that much difference other than needing more points to advance. The stars system adds value, requiring you to achieve at least 2 out of 3 starts to advance to the next stage, but there just doesn’t seem to be an “I need to finish this!” tone, and the game could benefit from possibly other game modes as well.

glow3Glow in itself is strong at the core, but some features, such as a “back” button when playing, and a high scores list are missing. Currently only the top score for each level is available, and the ability to see your past scores would certainly be welcome. The sounds that are in place are also rather annoying, but thankfully there’s an option to turn it off. Were new levels and game modes to be added, along with the aforementioned features, Glow could truly be great, but alas, right now it is just a decent game at heart.

Glow is certainly recommended for those who enjoy puzzle games such as Bejeweled, and if you are in any way interested in it, I would certainly pick it up; otherwise I would pass on it. No matter what though, it is certainly a bargain at only 99 cents, and will keep you entertained for those short spurts where you just need to game and relax.
Glow gets tapped by TouchMyApps.


App Summary
Title: Glow (v 1.0) Developer: Empty Clip Studios
Price: $0.99 App Size: 2.6 MB
  • New twist on gameplay.
  • Searching for new combos is a blast.
  • Visuals are extremely slick.
  • Great value at only a buck
  • Needs more variety
  • Could use some added features.
  • Sounds are annoying.
  • Too short, needs more levels.


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