Trick or treat! Humble Gaming have dropped Abductor, a candy-coated alien game to the App Store just in time for Halloween. It is match-three with a few otherworldly quirks which fit the holiday quite well. The first is the story. Basically, aliens landed on earth and intrigued by holiday, abducted anything which looks or tastes of Halloween. The second quirk is the strict guidelines which run the game only until overturned by one of the pumpkin heads (don’t worry, we’ll get to that).
If you have played match-three games before, you will feel right at home. Drag, slide, and hover your fingers anywhere to queue at least three of the same pieces together in order to clear the board – except that the board never clears. Units will keep shuffling in from the top in an endless barrage of Halloween paraphernalia – your job is to compound a better and better score. If you can string more together, the remaining piece will glow and bomb a section of the screen next time three units are matched. You cannot match diagonally, and to make things difficult, you can only move a piece to an adjacent spot.
Your clock runs down slowly, but be thankful, matching three of a kind isn’t as easy as it looks, and power-ups don’t come in packs. If you can manage to quickly suss out matches whilst the screen is resetting after a block as disappeared, you will accumulate a multiplier and from there, get a good score. But again, it takes practice.
Abductor has a few other cards up its sleeves: the pumpkin heads. In a perfect world, they are wild cards, but in Abductor, they are bonuses to help you cultivate a good score. The illuminator helps you suss out matches, the Nuclear bombs stuff in the vicinity, and the Re-Constructor, like a joker, allows you to move a piece anywhere on the screen to force a match. A good Abductor will probably make use of these “power-ups” as often as possible. Me? My head was full just trying to eliminate units at a time.
Humble boast that Abductor’s music is engaging, but I’ll be truthfully blunt: it ain’t. Imagine a depressed Super Mario brothers, or a suicidal Megaman musical score. Thankfully, you can peruse your iPod’s music library for real engagement and less headache. Fortunately, Humble have returned to somewhat cute roots; the graphics are clean, yet simple, and when a unit is matched, it makes a face, bows, or some other such action.
So, is Abductor a good buy at 99 cents? Yes it is. It is fun, but not idiotically addictive. I have enjoyed beating my score over and over again and making new names for myself, but when Humble implement 1.01 changes, players will be able to compete on online leaderboards via OpenFeint and WiFi. The ‘engaging’ music is quite poor and the save and quit function doesn’t seem to do anything, but I assume that it will be fixed soon. In the meantime, Abductor barely passes into GRAB territory thanks to its low price and promise of goodies to come. Till next time, happy trick and treating.
|Title:||Abductor (v1.0)||Developer:||Humble Gaming|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||4.8 MB|