One thing that’s becoming increasingly popular in the realm of match 3 games is to have a split screen, where one half of the screen is matching and the other half is something happening as a result of the matching. Sometimes the non-matching side is interactive, sometimes it’s not. Either way it adds a fresh spin to a fun but increasingly oversaturated genre. One of the latest efforts to rise to the occasion is Lt. Fly Rise of the Arachnids, and it’s quite an effort indeed. The first level starts off a bit slow, but when it takes off (level 2) it really takes off, and joyous mayhem ensues. Match 3 fans looking for something a little different won’t be disappointed.
You play the part of the titular character, Lt. Fly. It is your mission to rid your realm of a horde of invading spiders. The game takes place in your typical suburban house, and the backdrops are locations like the kitchen, bathroom and garden. In each realm you’ll travel through three spider filled areas and then come up against a challenging boss. You’ll defeat them all using a special gun that can either use regular ammunition or it can be fitted with up to 4 different types of fancy weapons. So how do you fill these weapons with spider flattening ammunition? That’s where the match 3 part comes in.
On the left side of the screen is a match 3 board. The tiles are comprised of four solid colors along with pictures of ammo and various letters. Certain letters provide you with power ups, and the ammo refuels your basic gun. Making matches with 4 or more colored tiles helps refuel the special weapons that corresponds to the color you’re filling up. As you make matches, the special tiles will fall to the bottom of the screen and once they fall off the screen, you get the power up that is associated with the tile. It’s a neat concept for keeping your supplies built up, but remember that you could run out of ammo from time to time. Always be conscious of what you need to keep your weapons firing. If too many spiders get to the bottom of the screen the game will be over – or at least the level will. Thankfully you can always continue from the last unfinished level if you want.
So how exactly do you control the game? Most everything is activated by tapping. Instead of the typical “swap two tiles” method of matching there is a “selected piece” bucket showing what your current playing piece is. You just click on the tile in the board you wish to replace with that piece. To fire your weapon you tap the critter you want to shoot at. To reload the gun you can pinch (only tried a couple of times, but it didn’t seem to work) or you can tap the meter that displays your current ammo levels. The only real variances are that one of the specials requires you to turn the device upside down, and another one requires you to shake the device. Overall the controls are easy and responsive, allowing you to focus on the craziness of destroy spiders.
The graphics are great. The characters have a detailed cartoon quality about them, and the expressions they make when attacking and getting hit are amusing. They also used one of my favorite coloring effects, which is a rich, bright foreground against a pale, subdued background. While certainly not the focus, the effects on the match 3 side of things are pretty good as well. Overall the visuals are quite polished and pleasing to look at.
The sound effects are decent, and the guns sound a bit different than what you’re used to in most shooting games. I was a bit disappointed that the creatures themselves didn’t make any noises. The music is okay, and it certainly has a militaristic sound to it, but there’s only one song for all the levels, and it’s a relatively short loop that’s being repeated again and again, so it gets old after a while.
Lt. Fly is a nice variation on the match 3 theme. With only 5 levels – each containing 4 areas – it’s not an overly long game. There are three difficulty levels, but if you’re the type of person that only likes to go through a game once, you might want to start on the hard difficulty. The graphics are top notch, the atmosphere is fun and hectic, and the game provides a nice balance between action and match 3. And, if you really want more, you can buy the War Chest add-on which provides double the special weapons and an extra level. I think Lt. Fly is a good addition to any match 3 addict’s collection.
|Title:||Lt. Fly Rise of the Arachnids||Developer:||Namco Networks America Inc.|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.1||Min OS Req:||3.0|
|Price:||$1.99||App Size:||24.0 MB|
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