Smiles in Review – Puzzle fans beware!

smiles1Do you just start yawning when you hear the words new “match-three” game? Well, then you should take a look at Smiles, a very addictive puzzle game. Smiles grabs the basics of the classic “match-three” genre, but it still plays totally different. The objective of the game is to swap a current tile with one on the board to connect three or more tiles of a kind. Smiles actually contains two separate games: Smiles Drop and Smiles Zen. They are also available as two single games, but you get a value price for the bundled Smiles.

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Smiles Drop

Let’s first take a look at Smiles Drop: In Drop you try to make as many matches as possible. Just tap onto a tile on the board and it swaps with the current one (the big tile at the side of the screen). Your match “pops” from the screen and makes space for new tiles falling from the top. The great thing with Smiles is that you can play it in any orientation. This also changes the fall direction of new tiles what can be very helpful in later parts of the game. Moreover, you don’t have to wait for new tiles to fall as you can continuously make your next move. This makes the gameplay very fast-paced, because you can get huge combos by using this technique.

Later in gameplay you also have iced tiles and rocks to handle. Tiles in ice can’t be swapped with the current tile but can be used in a match. Depending on the game mode, the ice breaks when the tile falls three of four spaces. Rocks are a bit more tricky. You can only clear them if they fall four spaces deep. The game ends if you don’t have any more possible moves.

In total, Smiles Drop has several game modes: From different difficulties over Drop Plus (more different tiles), Six (six different tiles) to Long play (gives you a bonus that you don’t lose so fast) and finally Avalanche. Avalanche is quite interesting, since all new tiles are iced. This changes the goal from a scoring game to a survival game and is one of my favorite modes of play.

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Smiles Zen

Now onto the second part of Smiles: Zen. In Zen you still swap tiles, but instead of clearing a match, it lights up. The goal of Zen is to light up the complete board, which can be pretty hard in some cases. This game also has different difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, Hard and Master. While you try to beat your score of needed moves in Easy, the modes Hard and Master are really something for your brain.

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Another cool feature is the 140 Achievements you can get while playing. Some examples include beating par times in Zen or losing in a number of moves in Avalanche. Also the kiddy graphics (three different themes) and the nice sound effects make a positive impression. You can also listen to your iPod music while playing, as well as resume after quitting the game.

Smiles will keep you busy for a long time, believe me, and at the current sale price of 2.99$ it is definitely a steal. But even at the regular price of 4.99$, it shouldn’t hold you back from buying Smiles. In my opinion it’s the best puzzle game at the App Store.

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App Summary
Title:Smiles (v1.1)Developer:Sykhronics Entertainment
Price:$2.99 (Sale)App Size:9.9 MB
  • Beautiful graphics and three   different themes
  • Smooth animations
  • Fun gameplay
  • Lots of game modes
  • Archievements
  • Flexible orientations
  • Saves game
  • Some game modes take too long to finish (f.e. Drop Easy)
  • Eats up your battery ;)

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