The whole match-3 genre is definitely one of the more casual ones, designed for quick pick up and play. This in mind it’s not a big shock that there are quite a bunch of these games on the App Store, enough to make sorting out the good from the bad a pain for the casual customer. TouchMyApps is proud to be your first line of defense in such trying circumstances and today we’re going to review Steamballs, a match-3 puzzler from Digital Worlds, developers of the card-based strategy game Strongholds.
Fresh off the heels of celebrating PAC-MAN’s 30th anniversary, Namco has sent us word that PAC-Match Party, a new PAC-MAN themed match-3 puzzle, will be launched for the iPhone and iPod Touch (iPad version to follow) in the very near future. Touted as a Match 3 with a retro twist, gamers will be treated to addictive gameplay, whacky combos and 30 levels of pure PAC-MAN goodness. A flash based version of the game was recently launched and it should give you a good idea on what to expect from the iDevice version. I’ve tried out the flash game myself and it is indeed very fun. And for those of you living in the continental US, Namco is also giving away a PAC-MAN-themed smart car!
If you’re a puzzle/match 3 lover, you’ll surely love what PAC-Match Party has to offer. More screenshots and video trailer after the break.
The “Match 3″ formula has been repeated all through the game section of the App Store. Ranging from free to paid, good to bad, it’s one of biggest sub-genres that’s been carried over from PC based flash games. Recently I was able to check out an app that takes the formula into a whole new direction. Cubes 3D Revolution, from Simiotica, is a new match ‘em with a 3D twist.
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.
The App Store is certainly not short of Match 3 titles, and clearly Playbrains were perfectly aware of this when developing their latest title – Babo Crash. This is why they’ve attempted to make it different from every other game out there and give it something really special. On the one hand, gameplay wise they’ve done a great job, but there are some features which could be added in which would make it so much better. Feel free to discuss this review of Babo Crash in our forums.
Gyrotate is a puzzle game where you must match shapes – similar to PopCap’s Bejeweled 2. You still have a grid where you swap shapes around to match them, but in Gyrotate the clue is in the name. To match, you must rotate sections of the board so the pieces line up. For this reason, the gameplay mechanic isn’t quite as fast-paced and you must be more accurate with your moves in order to get the tiles where you need them to be. Unlike Bejeweled though, you must match four or more tiles in Gyrotate. Feel free to discuss this review of Gyrotate in our forums.
Falling block puzzle games like Tetris caused me to buy my first Gameboy. The simplicity and frustration of fitting things in where they can’t possibly fit is instant elation. Mikks doesn’t rest on the same ol’ Tetris mechanic; it both expands and deflates the idea: blocks fall, but not in compound shapes. They come singly, and quickly, and rather than frantically finding a niche for each, you have to perform a different magic: coaxing them to change their colours.
No one knows me as a puzzle challenger. Rather, I get dubbed slow and dull by my best of friends; at the worst, the nicknames sting. Despite that, I enjoy a good challenge. Dizzy Drops is that sort of challenge – it’s the sort of mad-finger flicking game that reminds me of crazy non-video arcade games in the past: bop the weasel, two hand splat – that sort which is full of physical action. Scale things down and this finger-crosser of a game will have you sweatin’.
Just when you think you’ve seen enough match 3 titles, one comes along that’s different enough to attract – and keep – your interest. Virus Laboratory is one such game. The principle is simple: you must match up touching ‘viruses’ on the game board in order to clear them. All the while, more viruses are being pushed onto the screen from below. This process gets steadily quicker as the game progresses until you simply can’t keep up and it’s Game Over.
Puzzle games are incredibly versatile – whether as standalone offerings, or incorporated into other games, you will find a fair share of them in the App Store. It’s quite tricky to pull off a story-driven hybrid type of puzzle game but Kingdom of Gnester does just that.