Crystal Storm Review

Crystal Storm Review

Aug 26, 2013

Pick 3 games are renown for being easy to understand. Bejeweled ensured that it remains a popular genre, but there are several challengers to the throne. Crystal Storm makes a good case to be the go-to pick 3 game, and that’s because it mostly does not stay pat; it is an adventurous title.

What sets this game apart are the elements included. First, the grid containing the colored jewelry is not necessarily square, so it looks a bit different. The duality of the gameplay is also refreshing; there is rapid fire gameplay that pits eyes and fingers against a time else clock, and there are slightly more relaxed levels that have a finite number of moves. I like the way these change as it keeps the senses in tune to the game.crystal1

The actual gameplay is similar, at first blush, to Bejeweled: find sets of three or more adjacent jewels of the same color, and tap them to dissolve them. Dissolving the jewels scores points, and dissolved jewels are replaced via virtual gravity from an unending supply at the top. The shapes of the playing grid generally lend themselves to the creation of interesting cascades, and a little bit of strategy can lead to advantageous swathes of same colored items. The gameplay is leveled; success opens up more levels and coinage. There are special power ups that can be unlocked or purchased with game coins as well; they help with garnering more points.

And it wouldn’t be a good pick 3 game without good artwork. The graphics are top notch, and the animations were effective at enhancing the game play. The jewels had a nice glimmer to them, and even the suggestion flashes were nice. The sounds match the gameplay, and can be toggled.

The game’s in-app store was very much a part of the game; losing the allocation of lives freezes play for a set time unless credits are purchased. It’s an interesting process that I didn’t mind too much; I mean, it makes the game that much more addictive. You can also boast about achievements on Facebook.

Familiar, but unique… this game is mostly wrapped in the attributes that make a winner.

Dessert Storm Review

Dessert Storm Review

Jul 22, 2013

Dessert Storm is a cleverly named matching game that will make you think of a particular B game that most likely inspired it.

As far as Pick 3 games go, it is fairly familiar. The graphics are very colorful, which somewhat goes with the sett eats motif. The backgrounds are almost literally explosions of color, with animations like rising balloons occurring continually. The tokens themselves are colorful desserts that make the use of pastels to come to life.

Again, the gameplay is very familiar. It’s bejeweled in with a sweet tooth’s dream exterior. The playing area is made up of a grid with 81 pieces at any given time; to score points, sets of three have to be created by switching positions of eligible pieces. Horizontal and vertical sets count, but diagonals don’t. When a set of at least three matching, consecutive desserts is made (by tapping adjacent pieces to switch their positions), they explode, generate points and disappear, and gravity takes over, with the resulting space being filled by pieces above and from beyond dessert2the playing area; this way, there are always 81 pieces in play. If any other matches are made as a result of the cascade, they too follow the action sequence.

To be successful, a keen eye for shapes and colors is always good, as shapes are not the only category for successful matches. A lot of times, building from the bottom yields the best result.

The game comes in three modes: Relaxed, Classic and Rush. They are all fairly self-explanatory, but I thought the classic version was kind of long. That particular mode comes in levels with score requirements to proceed.

On my review devices, the play pieces were almost intolerably small, and I could not figure out how to change this. This made the pieces hard to swap, and, for me, fat fingering was common.

For a Bejeweled clone, it does the job of keeping the game close to heart without duplicating it, which for a lot of gamers, makes the perfect time waster.