Puzzlegeddon in review – it’s puzzle Armageddon!

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I’ve played lots of app store puzzle games now, so it’s taking more and more new ideas for a game to really catch my attention. Puzzlegeddon does a good job of introducing some new elements to the mix: a twist on the puzzle mechanics of color-matching as well as a bit of an added role-play/strategy element. And while an it’s ultimately an enjoyable game in and of itself, there are also a few things that keep it from being a complete homerun.

Let’s start from the beginning – Puzzlegeddon is another ‘match the colored tiles’ game – in this case it’s not 3, but at least 5 on the board. You do this by swiping the columns and rows, shifting them like a scrollbar where a tile that disappears at the bottom of a column will pop up at the top of that column like a wheel. So your job is to manipulate as many of those colors together as you can – and it’s up to you to decide when to pop them by touching the grouped colors when you’re ready to have them disappear. Once your grouping disappears, more tiles will fill in from the top of the board, and it’s time to continue grouping.

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Each color has a purpose, feeding into some powers that are at your command. There’s a space theme to the game, and you’re supposed to be mining for resources (the various colors), while at the same time trying to beat your spacefaring opponents (computer controlled) – by defeating them in battle. You do this by slowly drawing down their energy – by shooting missiles at them while simultaneously defending yourself from their attacks. And you activate all these things by mining enough resources. Occasionally, you’ll also receive stars within a particular colored tile – by matching that set of colors before the star disappears, you’ll receive an additional bonus of resources of that color.

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But as I said, there are a few things keeping this title back from true greatness. The story element seems like it would be interesting – but it’s really just lock step. You have no choices, you just move on to the next board/objective you’re given by the game. You don’t select your destination or what battles you want to go after. Also, the game board itself isn’t really big enough. There’s a lot of wasted space on the screen devoted to character portraits and planets, but I felt like the playing field could have been made larger without losing that periphery stuff.

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There are challenge levels to break up the normal game play, where you need to follow the instructions given and make specific matches within a certain amount of moves. You can also play quick games, where you don’t follow the campaign mode at all and just choose a particular style of game you want to play and go at it. You can submit your records for online ranking, though you can’t play against other people as of yet. It’s probably something that would really make this title stand out, even if it would be very difficult to implement. Still, it’s not like you see your opponent’s gathering materials – you’re only shown your own efforts on the puzzle board in front of you – so the only thing that would need to be shown is when your opponent launches an attack against you. But even without those things, it’s still a fun game to play. It’s not the greatest puzzle game I’ve played on the iDevice, but it’s better than average, and I can definitely recommend grabbing it.

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App Summary
Title:Puzzlegeddon (v1.1)Developer:HandyGames
Price:$3.99App Size:22.2 MB
  • Lengthy campaign mode
  • Enough twists on the matching formula to feel different
  • Fun challenge modes
  • Not the best use of on-screen real estate
  • Story is too linear
  • No online versus mode

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