Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
15 Fireworks looks good, sounds good, and has an intriguing gameplay hook. All of these individual pieces play their roles just fine. And yet, the final product doesn't quite come together.
15 Fireworks, like many other puzzles games, is about clearing randomized boards full of colorful objects. These objects are fireworks though, not jewels or fruits, so the only way to clear them is by blowing them up. Holding down on a firework causes it to explode. Depending on what direction it was facing, the explosion is then passed onto the next firework until the chain ends or the 4X4 board is cleared. As riveting as that sounds, though, 15 Fireworks is a more slow-paced puzzler. The goal isn't to frantically last as long as possible but rather carefully tweak one's strategy until a solution is discovered.
To help create a winning chain, players can change the direction of a firework, swap the positions of two fireworks and delete one firework all together. However, they are only allowed to use each of these abilities once and get a higher score the fewer powers they use. It's a cool concept in theory but in practice it causes the player's options at any given moment to be very constrained. This all leads to a game full of slow and tedious guesswork, robbing it of that most essential puzzle game quality: addictiveness.
On the presentation side things fare a little better. The menus have a neat, space-age chrome look and the fireworks themselves have a nice shine. However, the explosions could've been a bit more exciting. The ambient music is entrancing and perfectly complements the relaxed pace of the gameplay.
It's always nice to see games like 15 Fireworks that try to do interesting things in the well-worn puzzle genre. Too bad, in today's fast-paced puzzle world, it just can't keep up.