Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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I wasn't very accommodating of developer MumboJumbo's iPad game Luxor HD in my recent review, mostly because it was extremely derivative and offered nothing particularly new. Now I'm reviewing Chainz Galaxy from the same developer, but while it's a match 3 game, and there is no shortage of those on the App Store, there is enough of a novel approach here to warrant a recommendation - particularly to those of you who are fans of match three games (myself included).
There is a theme and story of cosmic proportions that attempts to bind all of the gameplay elements of Chainz Galaxy together, but the real meat of the game lies in the gameplay itself. Rather than taking the typical match three route - switching/flip-flopping jewels or symbols or the like - Chainz Galaxy features a board covered in multicolored chain links. You aren't able to swap pieces (which took me a small bit to get used to). Instead, you must rotate the links until they hook together. Hook three of the same color together and you clear them from the board. Along the way you can unlock power-ups (rainbow-colored chain links that can connect to any piece, for example) and charms for a charm bracelet that runs alongside the right-hand corner of the screen. This latter feature skews the game more towards female players, but it's still a fun game for any gender.
While Chainz Galaxy won't dazzle you aurally or visually, both the graphics and audio components enhance the game play. Where the game is truly lacking, however, is with Gamecenter integration. At this point, I just can't understand why developers (and particularly developers of the size of MumboJumbo) aren't incorporating Gamecenter achievements into their games. Apple has made it relatively painless to accomplish this, as is evidenced by the scores of indie-developed games that have Gamecenter support, so why aren't we seeing it in some bigger releases?
If you're looking for a new "take" on match three games, you may find Chainz Galaxy appealing, though at $9.99 it's way out of line with similar games on the App Store. Still, there's some good gameplay here, but don't look for anything too innovative.