When I first saw this game I liked the screen shots but I thought it was basically going to be a “been there, done that” sort of match 3 game. In some ways it really is, but it packs in so many cool features from other games in the genre that it doesn’t really matter. Throw in great music and a story that ties everything together and you end up with one of the best match 3 games to hit the virtual iOS shelves in quite some time, if not ever.
Not too long ago a game called Scurvy Scallywags came out that created a new breed of match 3 hybrids. It was a welcome evolution from everything we’d seen so far, and I was hoping that more games would take the concept and run. Well, not only did Cavemania run with it, the game created its own finish line. Now I’m not trying to say I love Scurvy Scallywags any less, and there are actually a couple of features in that game I like better, but Cavemania has me hooked. I’m really not quite sure what to classify this as yet, but if you had to give it a label I suppose “strategy / RPG / match 3” hybrid would work as well as anything.
Gamers are always clamouring for that next big thing that they’ve never played before. I would hope that at least once in a while something new would come along, but I don’t hold my breath for it. Instead, my main concern is that developers focus on ways to take the styles of game play that we have grown to love and make them even more interesting. Personally I feel Rejected Games has done just that with An Alien with a Magnet. I find myself loading it up even when I had the intention of playing something completely different, simply because I want to take it for another spin. You might almost say it has a magnetic quality about it. But we don’t go for those bad puns around here.
I’ve always felt platform games were a staple of the mobile game world, or at least they were until everyone wanted a touch screen. It’s not even that people didn’t want platform games any more, but rather while some developers did a much better job than others, no one could really seem to master solid controls with no physical controller. LIMBO doesn’t accomplish that task either, but thankfully that didn’t stop the developers from porting the game over to iOS devices. There’s something about this game that grabs you pretty much from the beginning and just doesn’t let go… even when the main character doesn’t do what you want him to.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to invest in The Room or not, but I was really tempted to grab it when the game went on sale for 99 cents. A raving review in a TouchArcade forum I frequent pushed me over the edge and I made the purchase, but then I began to play it and started having second thoughts. Once I went back to it after a day or two, however, something clicked and I realized how brilliant the game was. I’ve always been more interested in Sierra and LucasArts style adventure games with lots of convoluted object puzzles and silly dialog than pure puzzle based games like Myst, but something about The Room captured my attention and wouldn’t let go.
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.
I love physics puzzle game, but there is certainly more than a fair share to choose from. Still, if one seems to offer something new or do something proven really well I’m more than happy to give it a shot. In the case of Block Blasters you get to use various forms of explosives to shuffle the board around, so who wouldn’t want to give that a go? Unfortunately, while the game is conceptually intriguing, in practice it’s more burdensome than anything else. Imprecise controls, frustrating puzzles and annoying sound effects highlight what should have been a fun little puzzle game.
Cut The Rope was one of the first games to be billed as an “Angry Birds killer”, and while I don’t believe it quite made it to that status, there’s no denying the game’s impact on the mobile puzzle game genre. The developers are back with an entirely different concept in Pudding Monsters, but the important thing is that the game is just as entertaining as Cut The Rope. Gamers looking for a challenge might be a bit disappointed, as the current level sets are a bit on the easy side overall, but those looking for a cute casual gaming experience are sure to love the whole package.
Super Dragon is another physics based puzzle game, but at least it doesn’t have the same “topple buildings and defeat the opponents within” type feel that the Angry Birds movement spurred. This time around you play a dragon that simply wants to get his teeth back so he won’t be laughed at by all his friends. Naturally, though, your teeth end up in all sorts of precarious spots, and it’s to you and your fireballs to figure out how to get them back without knocking yourself out in the process.
The concept of combining the RPG with match 3 mechanics seems to be pretty popular, though few entries come close to either Puzzle Quest for a more hardcore experience or Dungeon Raid for the casual folks. Still, many of the options at least offer a few things that make them worth giving a chace, and Dungeon Story is no exception. While there are no quests to speak of, it’s more persistent than Dungeon Raid in that you can build up your character between plays. It still provides a more casual experience than Puzzle Quest, however, because even if you get “stuck” in a dungeon all you have to remember between sessions is that when you come back there is another monster to fight.