Jelly Duel in Review – Match 3 Against The World
Lately Iâ€™ve been more focused on RPG hybrids when it comes to my match 3 experiences (like Dungeon Story), but Iâ€™m all for a good old fashioned pure match 3 romp, given the right game.Â Sadly, those options donâ€™t come along much any more.Â Now we have Jelly Duel, however, and my faith in the genre is slowly returning.Â Unfortunately, this game will only do you some good if you have WiFi or data connectivity since it is an online offering.Â Still, as much as I donâ€™t like â€œconnectedâ€ gaming, Iâ€™m seeing a lot of potential in Jelly Duel.
The basics of a match 3 game, just in case you donâ€™t know, are that you swap two adjacent tiles on the board so that you make a match of at least 3 of one kind of tile.Â In this case if you match 4 or more of a similar tile type youâ€™ll create a special tile which when matched with itâ€™s same color gives you a bonus, usually along the lines of clearing several extra pieces of the board.Â For Jelly Duel matching pieces means earning points, which in turn raises the water level on your board.Â Since every game in Jelly Duel is a two player match, the person with the highest score at the end of a minute wins.Â If you completely fill your board with water youâ€™ve reached the point goal for that board, which means you automatically win.
If youâ€™re like me, simply getting a better score than the other player isnâ€™t enough â€“ you want to mess with them while youâ€™re playing.Â As you continue to win games you rank up which in turn unlocks â€œhelpersâ€.Â You have to pay each game that you want to use these helpers, which can be done by spending coins that you earn by winning matches or via IAP purchases.Â The first couple of helpers give you the ability to freeze a portion of the other playerâ€™s screen as well as slow down how quickly the pieces move when being swapped and when falling.Â There are 5 different helpers to unlock, but you can only use two at a time.
The biggest issue is the fact that the game has to be played online.Â I donâ€™t believe Iâ€™ve had a problem ever connecting initially, but there have been several occasions where Iâ€™ve been kicked off after one or two matches and not been able to get back online for a while.Â I also think it would be nice if the payoff for winning was a bit more graduated.Â For the most part it seems like you always win 20 coins, and itâ€™s not clear why you win more when you do.Â Finally, it seems a bit weird to me that you start a rank with two stars filled in.Â When you move up ranks you should have to earn all 5 stars for the next rank, and when you lose a rank you should start with all the stars you had earned for that rank.Â You can play against random opponents or hand picked friends, and at this point your best bet is to hook up with a friend.
The visuals are pretty decent, falling roughly mid-range when it comes to flash and sparkles.Â I do like the designs of the different helpers and the fact that they cry (or at least thatâ€™s what it looks like) when they are ready to be used.Â The sound effects arenâ€™t too bad, especially when it comes to the brief maniacal laughter after youâ€™ve unleashed a helper.Â The music is upbeat but pretty much gets drowned out by all the action, as you probably wonâ€™t notice it while youâ€™re busy trying to beat your opponent.
Jelly Duel can be quite entertaining.Â It does get frustrating that thereâ€™s no single player mode, especially when you lose your connection.Â Still, thereâ€™s nothing like running neck and neck with an opponent, particularly when you can see their progress the whole time.Â And the fact that thereâ€™s no social interaction required makes it my kind of online game.Â It could use a bit of refinement in a couple of spots, but overall itâ€™s a very solid multi-player experience that you wonâ€™t find elsewhere in iPhone match 3 games.
|Title:||Jelly Duel||Developer:||Mega Studio|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3|