Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Some might call it the circle of life, other will call it the food chain, NomNom Combo calls it a game. In this new "king of the jungle" matching game, players match animals together and then match the prey animals with the predators in return for in-game currency. This obviously isn't a typical matching game. Honestly, how many matching games out there have a problem with blocks eating other blocks? In NomNom Combo, players aren't just focused on making matches, they are also concerned with making matches in a way that will keep their predator's bellies full.
Players start each game by placing animals like flies and frogs as tiles on the game board. If a player places a fly next to a frog it will run in the opposite direction until it hits the edge of the board. If the fly is placed in such a way that it can't run, or runs into another frog, then it is eaten by the frog and the player is awarded a certain number of coins. However, placing three flies close together will turn them into a mouse, making it impossible for a frog to eat. To eat the mouse the player must match three frogs and make a snake. Three mice turn into a rabbit, three snakes turn into an eagle continuing through sheep, manatees, wolves, and so on through various predator and prey combos. Though not quite evolutionarily sound, this progression to larger animals is what makes the game more puzzle-like than other matching games.
Players can't just place animals on the board randomly making matches. At the start of each game they are awarded a certain number of random animals to place. They'll need to plan out their placements so they can "evolve" the biggest predators and prey in tandem and in placements where the predator can eventually get at the prey. Coins are awarded for each prey animal that is eaten and these coins are used to buy more animals to place, continuing the game.
NomNom Combo is certainly a unique matching puzzle game. It's both fun to play and challenging to master. The balance between matching and strategy makes the game a great choice for players looking for a challenge.
Note: NomNom Combo is currently only available in the Canadian App Store and will get a wider release later this quarter.