Version Reviewed: 3.0.11
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Hey, a game all about matching jellies. That sounds familiar, right? Oh, and they’re colorful and cute, too. And there’s a very familiar looking level selection screen. Hmm... Alarm bells should be ringing as you look at Jolly Jam, right? Actually, wrong. While it follows a similar path to many match-3 games, it takes a few well timed sidesteps to ensure that it feels suitably interesting to keep you hooked.
The most notable change is in how you manipulate the jellies. You don’t just swipe or tap when there are three or more matching colors. Instead, you drag a box around the shapes, snagging as many of the same colored jellies as possible. The catch is that, while dragging the box, the opposing corners have to be the same kind of jelly.
It’s a simple concept but one that offers some level of strategy. Early levels simply require you to match a certain number of different colored jellies. Soon enough you have to trap monsters too, and they can’t be used as a corner piece. They can also eat up adjoining jellies, adding to a sense of urgency. There are boss battles as well, keeping you busy as the giant monster regularly throws obstacles your way - whether they happen to be smaller monsters or restrictive ice.
There’s the usual bunch of freemium elements here, with an energy system as well as power-ups that can be purchased. Jolly Jam is reasonably generous though, so you don’t feel constantly pushed into anything.
Throw in some cute and charming graphics, and Jolly Jam is a fairly entertaining hit. It doesn’t reinvent the genre entirely, but it does offer enough to make you take note again. It’s the kind of game that can easily suck up your spare minutes thanks to its simple yet gradual addictiveness.