Sporos is one of those games that makes you wonder why they haven’t done something like it before. The game is like a chain reaction puzzler except that instead of trying to destroy objects and clear the board you’re attempting to fill the board with the few objects you’re given. It’s a clever take on the genre, and if it’s been done before I must have missed it. Whatever the case I’m glad I’ve been introduced to the idea now, and Sporos is certainly a great starting point for getting acquainted with this type of gameplay.
So where you’d normally start out with a full playing field, in Sporos all the tiles are empty. At the top of the board are multiple pieces, each of which has several lines drawn in them. The lines indicate in which directions spores will be created once you play the piece. You have two objectives: use all the pieces and fill all the tiles. Spores that are created can overlap each other, but you cannot place a piece on a tile that already contains a spore. What’s really neat is that you can drag a piece to a tile and until you let go to place the piece it will show you all the tiles that will be filled in if you use the piece. If you decide you don’t want to use a piece just drag it back to the top, even once you’ve placed it on the board.
I’ve only seen one deviation in the gameplay at this point, which is tiles that redirect the flow of spores when they are encountered. While it might be nice to have more specialty tiles (and maybe they do come later since there are 500 levels), it impresses me how well the game holds my attention with what it has. It also makes me look forward to getting to new level sets in the hopes that they will bring new features. One thing that’s really refreshing about Sporos is that there are no time limits and you don’t get penalized for taking your time to think. It’s nice when a game actually encourages you to plan your attack, as it were. There’s no score to be had, but there are 19 achievements to earn, several of which revolve around acquiring stars. I’m not sure what drives a three star rating, but if you don’t get three stars on a level you can simply go back to the menu and select the level again to “reset the counter” so to speak.
The visuals are fairly simple, yet they can be quite mesmerizing. There’s just enough movement taking place to keep you from falling into a daze, and the neon spores are a nice contrast the more basic colors of the background and tiles. The music is very soothing and also sounds vaguely familiar. It really enhances the hypnotic effect of the presentation. The sound effects sound like popping bubbles, which is another soothing noise, at least for me. I guess once you’ve beaten the game you can use the sights and sounds to lull you to sleep on a rough night!
This is one of the best puzzle games I’ve played in a long time. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction without the frustration of believing that you only beat a level because you got lucky. It’s an original concept that sets itself apart from the crowd in a good way. And it has an incredible presentation without resorting to another cute leading character (and don’t get me wrong, I like cute leading characters). If you’re looking for something different to play, look no further than Sporos.
|Title:||Sporos||Developer:||AppXplore Sdn Bhd|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.1||Min OS Req:||4.3|