Dec 4, 2012
Matchblocks is a fun, creative game from industry veteran Noodlecake that manages to meld visual elements of Tetris with color-matching games to create a surprisingly effective handheld adventure. While the physics of the game make comparisons to Tetris understandable, I hesitate to describe it as a Tetris clone, as the addition of said color-matching (that I go into below) is what sets it square on its own road.
The game involves rectangular puzzle pieces dropping from the top of the playing screen. Unlike Tetris, the blocks didn’t fall in clean, linear paths; it was free fall all the way down. Each block consisted of segmented color squares: green yellow and orange in springy pastels. Using a color-bar at the bottom of the play area, I had to tap the colors in the order they appeared in the respective blocks to dissolve each, because, as with Tetris, if the stack of blocks made it to the top, the game was over. Dropping buttons with dots (corresponding with the number of times they had to be tapped to be dissolved) and some with bonuses also ate into the space I had, so quick reaction time and dexterity of finger(s) were some of the keys to getting high scores.
As expected, it started off easy, and then got harder, with the blocks stacking in irregular patterns. Strategizing does play a role in success, as clearing from the bottom (which seems logical), isn’t always the best choice. When the height gets critical, one is greeted with a reddish warning hue.
Now, while speed is key, I can’t help but wonder why the developer used soft pastels instead of bright colors. Whether or not it was a conscious decision, I thought it was very welcome, as it made the game that more challenging, as more care had to be given to select the right colors.
The game features different modes (such as arcade, timed and zen); none deviated from the general principles of gameplay.
I liked the total package. I wish there was a form of head-to-head battle, but incorporated social sharing adds value in my opinion.