148Apps Network Post
Developer: Mind Juice Media
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.12

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Have you ever played a game for quite some time, only to miss a game feature that the game developer touts as the defining feature? Add me to the list.

Here’s my Charmed story. My first impression of Charmed was that it was a basic match 3 puzzle game. There is a big board, a bunch of different shapes (more or less depending on set difficulty), and a big freeze button in the top right corner (tap it and you can move blocks any direction for a few seconds). To beat each level you must eliminate all the gold squares by matching 3’s on top of them. The first few levels were expectedly simple, but the later levels proved difficult because there were these blocks that prevented new blocks from falling down certain rows. To counteract this, or so I thought, you had to fill in the gaps yourself with shapes from other rows. While time consuming, every level past level 8 proved to be a test of extreme speed and matching prowess.

After a good deal of time I felt that I had a good enough grasp on the game to write up a review. My first stop, as always, was the iTunes page. I do this primarily to check out the developer and app info, but I typically do a scan of the description at the end to make sure I didn’t miss anything big.

First sentence of description: “Charmed will captivate you with amazing gravity-twisting, Charm-matching action across 40 unique levels!”

Sentence 3: “Rotate your iDevice in all 4 orientations to change the direction of gravity!”

Huh. Puzzled, I decided to check out the game again to mess with this so called gravity. Because the levels past level 8 were so difficult (on hard mode), I decided to start right there at the scene of the crime. Instead of manually moving shape after shape over to the free rows that are blocked by the blocks, all I had to do was turn the screen and new blocks came rushing in from what was previously the right side. After a bit of play I was hooked. Charmed really was different than the competition.

It really is amazing how much more fun this game is after you’ve figured out the gravity feature. Moments that seemed inordinately tedious not felt like wonderful little challenges hand-wrapped for me by Mind Juice Media. If you enjoy traditional match 3 games with a twist, you’ll absolutely love Charmed.


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