Sparkle Unleashed Review

Sparkle Unleashed Review

May 13, 2014

Sparkle Unleashed is all about saving the world, one orb at a time.

The premise is relatively simple: there is an evil darkness that is overcoming the land. The only way it can be slowed down and combated is through the power of match-three orb technique.

To explain, the playing area needs to be understood; it is usually a windy path that snakes its way from the entrance point all the way to the the end point. Along this trail a line of orbs of different colors move, like a train of spherical cars, moving towards the ominous black hole. At the bottom of the playing area is an orb-shooting device that can slide along the bottom. When the playing area is tapped, this device fires an orb in a line to that point.

To stop the structure from reaching the hole, the orbs need to be reduced; this is done by familiar matching mechanism. The idea is to use the shooting device to launch orb and create matching groups of three or more orbs ofsparkle1 the same color, which dissolve and slow down the line. even better, with quick thinking and use of special orbs that can be collected by contact, it is possible to clear the board and beat the level that way. If the line of orbs make it to the black hole, the whole playing area is swamped in darkness, and the level is lost.

Stopping the orb is a delightful challenge though. Aiming looks deceptively easy, till one realizes how carelessness can be costly. The power-ups are easy to understand, and the gameplay flows along nicely. Beyond the first free 23 sections, even more challenges and modes are present, so the game isn’t too short at all. there are levels with multiple lines going at once, which ups the challenge level. The power-ups are fun to discover and implement too.

Unlocking the extra levels ($5.99) might cause folks used to binging on dollar some angst, but the gameplay just might cause one to overlook that. Even without the unlock, it’s easy to fall in love with.

Again and again.

Tennis in the Face Review

Tennis in the Face Review

May 1, 2013

Tennis in the Face is a morality tale about tennis, energy drinks and the curiously-named Pete Pagassi.

In my quest to free society from the debilitating addiction to Explodz that destroyed my promising career as a tennis pro, I used my racquet to defeat hordes of platformed folks with different attributes.

The action was leveled and fast paced; Pagassi was armed with a racquet and balls, had to take out different types of opponents by making use of ricochets to get into tight spaces and to avoid deadening obstacles. To put the ball in play, I simply used a finger to draw a path in a straight line to where I wanted it to head to. Basically, I wanted to take out the caffeinated drones out with point-garnering strikes to the body, with extra bounties paid for head shots. tennis2

At first, dispatching the enemy was quite easy at first; the early levels consisted of clowns spaced out. Basic planning usually one the day, and I was able to get a maximum of knockouts with a minimum of shots. As the game progressed, the difficulty factor increased; different villains brought different restrictions. For example, one set of characters wielded swords and shields, and could only be knocked out when struck from behind. There were some interesting power-ups that added to the fun factor as well

It had the zany type of artwork that appeals to me, the type that is cool without taking itself to seriously. The animations worked with the characterizations, and the slow-motion sequences helped add humor to the gameplay. the platformed visuals were different, and even though I though some glitz could have worked, I still liked the overall look of the game.

It was another one of those games that surprised me. I liked the familiar Angry Birds-like feel of the levels and scoring, but really loved that it still felt creative. And where else can you play with a cat called Pagassi?

Boom Brigade 2 Review

Boom Brigade 2 Review

Sep 18, 2012

Boom Brigade 2 wants to be the perfect combination of weaponry, alien defense, tactics and mayhem. I found it hard to deny it that honor.

For a new title on Android that was preceded by word of mouth of its iOS-exclusive prequel, I thought that it came out of the gate swinging. Literally. The premise is simple. You are defending an outpost in alien territory. Bodies are light, enemies unending… but the weapons… the weapons, dear sir, are in in wonderful abundance. It’s the galactic version of Assault on Precinct 13. The staples are all there: opened ports, an abandoned highway and a guard post.

Yes sir.

I found that the whole saga started with the opening of chasm, and, as always occus with opened chasms, bad things want to come in. As noted, I controlled a limited number of well-armed defenders, who have to be moved by sleight of finger to cover the enemy that rolls in from different angles.

BB2 depends on drawing virtual lines as the strategic key, and I found the game fluid off the bat. I also learned to keep an eye out for dropping power-ups that appeared at points during the game. As I progressed, the hordes got ickier and more plentiful, meaning tactics became an important part of my strategy to destroy “hellhounds” and gigantic, slimy worms. Proximity mattered the most, as my guys fired automatically when in range. For the true space explorers, the game boasts six different dangerous species.

What I really loved about the game was the tactical component. Boom Brigade 2 allowed me to plan actions. I could pause the game and plan out future moves using lines as guide. I found the movements to convey a sort of realism; if I was slow on the draw, my defenders were slow on the reaction, and that caused, well, destruction.

One thing to note: there is a $2.99 charge to unlock play after the first chapter.

All in all, I found Boom Brigade 2 proved to be a deceptively addictive title that did a proficient job of tacking together a simple story, good graphics and adjustable gameplay into a handheld masterpiece. This game is perfect for those who want to save planet earth from a bedroom, passenger seat, Row 2E or a cubicle during a soup break.

Sparkle Free Review

Sparkle Free Review

Sep 27, 2011

You’re about to enter the dark and sinister Crowberry Woods. As the enchanted woodland has fallen under an evil spell, darkness has come over it and no one who ventures in is safe. As you search for ancient artifacts, amulets and other items, you’ll encounter a series of match-3 action puzzles which much be solved before you may pass! At least, that’s the premise of Sparkle Free, which has you choosing paths through a dark, mystical woods.

The puzzles you encounter in Sparkle Free as you move through the Crowberry Woods involve shooting a colored ball from a stationary turret at a line of colored balls which are rolling along a track, slowly moving toward a dark pit at the end. If they reach the end before you can clear them, you’ll lose a life as the level ends and be one step closer to starting over from scratch. It’s a rough challenge, but you’ll have a few items to help you out.

At certain points, you can win extra lives while recovering amulets and other power items. Each amulet has its own set of powers that can aid you, although some add an extra hindrance as a condition of their use. Also, being limited in the number of amulets you can wear, you’ll have to choose which ones suit your playing style the best. At the end of each path is an additional object waiting to be found, each helping to bring the light back to the woods as you progress through the game.

The power-ups you’ll be able to activate during the puzzles are also very helpful. Some will eliminate an entire color while others allow you to “blast” the balls right off the stage. During the easier puzzles, I tended to ignore the power-ups as I tried to get higher combos for more points. Later, though, the game gets very challenging, and I began to forget about setting up combos in favor of focusing on power-ups and ball elimination. With a limited number of lives, the sense of urgency when things get tough is extremely high.

As polished and nice as Sparkle Free is, it’s really just a preview of the full game, which hasn’t arrived, yet. Once you’ve passed the final level, that’s it. The game abruptly ends with only a “Thank you for playing, please play the full version,” screen to meet you on the other side. No more story, no more amulets to collect, nothing. All we can do is wait for the full game.

Regardless of the abrupt ending, it’s still a great, fun game with a lot of levels to keep you busy. You’ll get a good look at some of the features of the full game, including in-game achievements and more.

Gameplay-wise, Sparkle Free may be a Zuma clone, but I was surprised to find the extra polish and the pretense of an adventure through a mystical woods to make this a delightful time-killer. I just wish the full game were already available.