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Match 3D Flick Puzzle

Every day there’s a match 3 puzzle game added to the iPhone, most of which are appropriately ignored. The typical concept is to line up 3 or more similarly labeled objects in order to clear them from the screen. Usually they’re replaced by different objects and a score is accumulated for their removal. It’s a simple idea with a quiet fan base. Have you ever heard of a match 3 devotee talking up their favorite games or demanding innovation from the developers? Typically companies have catered towards these gamers with lifeless interpretations of the Bejeweled series. Match 3D Flick Puzzle is more than that.

Technically it’s the same in concept only done across a cube which can rotate around the screen and is comprised of 512 moveable blocks. The cube can be rotated around the screen as needed by flicking it, sliding your finger across it, or shaking your iPhone. Shaking your phone frantically is the best option when you’re out in public. Tapping any of the blocks will highlight them and cause them to raise from the surface and spin while you search out an adjacent piece to swap out for it.

screenshot

Shifting pieces around the playing field has dynamic potential, as above blocks snap into place from above, it makes for the possibility of another connection on the corresponding plane. Each plane is viewable by tapping through the options on the bottom of the screen, as it allow you to see the cube as a whole, its separate sides, the top or the bottom and on inward after one of the sides is selected. Obviously, a puzzle with 6 sides is a little more difficult to manage. There’s more going on and sometimes it’s harder to tell blocks apart. This works well, most of the time.

To be honest though, I can’t do much with the system. It’s guess work, luck, and some features to help when you’re unable to find matches which are responsible for most of my points. Classic and Survival mode are the featured gameplay modes. These can be tweaked, so PlayScreen claims they have 8 of them. Adjustments for timing the game or using special blocks can be made before you start out with the cube. The game auto-saves often and you can make it save up to 100 games total in the options menu, from the main screen. There’s plenty of other sliders and neat things you can do. My personal favorite is the one which removes the textures. It makes it a lot easier to focus, not having the unnecessary visual distractions on the blocks. I would like to see a balance between having textures and clear colors, in the near future. Unlockable block types might be a nice touch.

screenshot

There are a couple of speciality blocks provided for use when you’re struggling to clear certain areas. A multicolored alternative will match any block and a if a grouping is triggered against a bomb, an explosion will clear whichever blocks are next to it across each of the planes. one will match with any of the 8 starting blocks and will drop in sporadically as fragmented portions of the cube are refilled by replacement blocks. There are a couple speciality blocks which will help your cause: a multi-colored alternative for any of the 5 color variants and a bomb that will eliminate an area of blocks around it, if a match is made against it.

While I’m not much of a puzzle fan, there were times where Match 3D Flick Puzzle felt engaging enough that I could understand people who are into that kind of thing. It is perhaps the best example of the match 3 sub-genre in 3D, if not the only one. It’s a good game to progress through over an extended period of time, beating levels here and there, improving the score, wondering if it ever ends.

Does it ever end?

Review based on version 1.05.15

7 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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