Developer: Square Enix
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Combining maths skills with Tetris is a smart move towards creating a successful and enjoyable puzzle game. That’s mostly what KooZac offers, although it somehow sidesteps away from being truly gripping.

The idea behind KooZac is exceptionally simple and has seemingly no connection whatsoever to the frankly bizarre name of the game. Numbered blocks must be matched up to create the according number at the top of the screen in order for them to vanish and points to be gained. In the early stages of the puzzle mode, this is simple enough to achieve. Only a few numbers are ever required, and each is below 5 or 6. As the game progresses, however, larger numbers appear and so players need to match up 4 or 5 different blocks in order to reach the goal. While adding up to 13 or 14 is simple enough usually, when dealing with blocks cascading down the screen, it can get a little frantic.

It’s a fun idea and one that tests the gray matter a lot more than something like Tetris or Bejeweled. It’s also the kind of thing that immediately lends itself to being used as a fun educational tools for kids trying to develop their mental mathematics skills. While Puzzle Mode requires players to clear specific blocks in order to progress to the next level, Endless goes on for as long as blocks don’t hit the top. Blitz involves competing against Facebook friends to get the best high score in the space of 60 seconds.

There are some issues with KooZac. Notably, with encouraging blocks to fall down faster. This requires a sweeping motion down the screen but blocks start so high up that it’s easy to inadvertently invoke the Notification Center rather than complete the move. The interface surrounding the levels is a little weak, also, with a focus on buying boosts with real money rather than just enjoying what’s already there.

These problems fade into the background, however, while you’re too busy trying to build up increasingly better bonuses and solving numerical questions at speed. KooZac is a fun little amalgamation of genres.

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