graBLOX: Interesting new take on the traditional match three puzzler.
I’ve made it no secret in the past that I am a fan of match 3 puzzle games however with the genre being so tried and tested, it’s difficult to find new gameplay dynamics different to the numerous editions that have come and gone over the years. Today I am happy to review MobilityWare’s refreshing match 3 puzzler which has featured highly on the Google Play download charts recently. Read on to find out what we at Android Games Review thought of it!
With it being a match 3 puzzler, it goes without saying that the aim of the game is to well…match (at least) 3 things together. In graBLOX’s case, the thing we are matching are called BLOX. These BLOX are thoughtfully placed around the level and if one of the these BLOX are pressed, extending arms would stretch out in all four directions and grab nearby BLOX dragging them towards itself. If three or more BLOX are clustered together, then they would all disappear. The aim of the game is to clear the screen of all BLOX.
As you progress through the levels, different types of BLOX are introduced adding different gameplay elements. From cascading BLOX which extend their arms if they are grabbed by other BLOX; raindrop BLOX which fall down when their supporting BLOX are moved; to laser BLOX which destroy all BLOX in all directions if activated. Moves can be easily undone by pressing the undo button at the top or alternatively the whole level can be restarted from the beginning. Thankfully restarting and undoing is very snappy and does not hinder the gameplay experience.
An optional grid overlay can be turned on to make it easier to see the spacing between BLOX which can come in useful for more complex levels however not essential. In many turn based puzzle games there is tendency for it to over reliant on trial and error as it’s not obvious or possible to determine what the solution from just analysing the starting state. graBLOX fortunately provides a good balance between premeditation and trial and error, giving you a good sense of achievement when you complete the levels.
Much like many other puzzle games out there, graBLOX doesn’t win any awards for presentation. However it is simple and clean enough to not detract you from the gameplay. With a complementary color palette, hand drawn graphics and non obtrusive sound/music, the overall presentation is solid. Even the adverts are only presented to you between levels and are quick to move past.
Verdict 4/5: Refreshing match 3 puzzle gameplay with solid sounds and visuals is a winning formula. Featuring 4 worlds, each with 25 levels, graBLOX is a little on the short side for die hard puzzle fans. However with the promise of more levels to come soon, there is little more that can be asked for from this free ad supported.title.