AB Blast Review

AB Blast Review

Jan 31, 2017

Alrighty, AB Bast is yet another Angry Birds game.

But can you blame them? The flippin’ green pigs just won’t stop.

The game should look familiar to anyone who has played a Rovio game — and at this point,who hasn’t? High definition graphics, liberal use of color and very whimsical characterizations. A lot of the constituents will be familiar too, which can be good or bad for some.

Controls? Taps just about all through.ab3

The main gist of the game is that the troublesome pigs are at it again; this time, they have trapped the birds in balloons. This translates to a portrait-orientation game, with a wooden frame housing balloons that are replenished endlessly from the bottom as some of them are popped.

Freeing the birds entails popping groups of multiple same colored adjacent balloons; one balloon can’t be popped, but at least two touching can. When they are popped, the birds physically fly out to freedom.

The first few levels are just about that: freeing the birds. The goal might be to,say, free 7 blue birds. Okay… did we mention that there is a move limit? Yes, you only get so many taps to get to the requisite 7 birds. The idea is to then tap groups (or, strategically pop others to manipulate such groupings) until the count meter is down to zero. In true Angry Birds fashion, we have the three-star scoring mechanism: completing with less taps is always good.

There are boosts to use,and as with other aspects, strategy comes in handy here.

As more levels are opened, the game does gets more complex — and more interesting. Soon, some of the elements from the original slingshot games (like crystal structures) make an appearance. Pigs? Yessir; there are levels where beating them up and defeating them by contact is the goal. These are pretty engaging.

In the end, AB Blast is a bubble popper. There is an energy requirement, but there are in-game tools (like video watching) that can help you avoid in-app purchases.

Quell Memento Review

Quell Memento Review

Jul 9, 2013

It’s back… and it’s called Quell Memento. It’s a pretty fun puzzler that retains the flair of its predecessors… and then some.

The background imagery is fairly stark, as the game relies on greyish hues to highlight the gameplay. The puzzles themselves mostly keep to that design motif, with mostly grey squares interspersed with other pieces in somewhat softer colors. The transitions into the boards was quite smooth, and I do think that the presentation was well done, and reflective of minimally beautiful design.

This allows all eyes to be on the play area. To begin, the puzzles are created with blocks in an otherwise empty regularly irregularly shaped grid. In every grid, there is a at least one type of completion button. Using bubbles as rolling, perishable controls, one needs to navigate through to get to the button(s) to complete the puzzle. The quell1bubbles can only move one way in space, unless checked by another object in the grid; diagonal movements can not be effected.

All these different restrictions create some intriguing situations in which strategy becomes a major requirement to resolve.

Soon, the puzzles add extra elements that can help or hinder: spikes, breakable blocks, gates and even ice cubes. There was even a wraparound feature, which mimics the Pac-man way of going out a valve on one side and popping out on the other, and tunnels, that allow the bubble(s) to teleport, in a manner of speaking. In some levels, there are multiple bubbles and completion points; sometimes, it was necessary to use one bubble as a sacrificial facilitator that helps another one complete the level.

Each level had a prescribed number of moves to complete; doing it in that number earned a “perfect” moniker and a special coin. Success opens up advanced chapters, but coins earned can be used to buy solutions or open up levels. Levels can be repeated, and there are hints.

Much as I loved this game, I thought the navigation could have been more precise; there were times I got a bit lost after leaving the game for whatever reason. Still, it doesn’t really inhibit the enjoyment of this masterpiece.