Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I’ll try most puzzle games once. Ka-Bloom was released by BBC Worldwide, so it was worth taking a look at. Ka-Bloom is sort of a fastish-paced, pseudo-puzzle game. I use all of those uncertain prefixes because I’ve never played a game quite like this before, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. While the game certainly has an interesting premise, the gameplay isn't that great.
The main “character” is Floret, a cosmic seed. The seed wants to eat gems to grow its blue aura. I’m still not sure why the cosmic seed eats gems and wants to grow its blue aura. The player strings the gems and coins together before the level starts and then again during. The player can only make three chain links at any given time, so the level needs to start in order for the seed to eat the chains so the user can get the chains back. Chains can be “hot-linked” together while the seed is eating, which gives the game its face-paced element. The hot-linking can only be done in small windows of time. So the player needs to be quick to rack up combos by hot-linking. Some levels can only be won by linking chains together in real-time.
New gems are eventually introduced into the game. The blue ones are still the targets to finish the level. Green gems increase the arm reach of Floret so that it can grab gems farther away from it (they also expand the “atmosphere” to keep the level going longer). A golden heart makes the blue aura continuously grow outward. And red gems shrink the blue aura. The puzzles aren’t particularly challenging, but I did have to replay some to get three stars.
Like many other games have done (taking inspiration from Angry Birds), Ka-Bloom uses the three star system to give each level a replay value. Players can go back and re-do a level to try to get a higher score and all three stars. Each star stands for a specific achievement: one is reaching a target score, one is completing the level, and the other is successfully having the cosmic seed eat everything in the level.
The music is both catchy and annoying. I thought it was interesting at first but the loop is so short that it quickly gets repetitive. I was incredibly thankful that the music could be turned off on the title screen without turning off the rest of the sound effects.
With all that being said, I can still see this game being fun to some people. Major puzzle fans looking for something faster paced should give this one a try.