Developer: One Minute Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Commander Pixman creator One Minute Games is back with a new take on puzzle games. Well, there’s blocks that fall from the sky, but getting rid of them requires tapping out their sequence of colors based on buttons that represent each color at the bottom. Multipliers are earned for detonating multiple blocks at a time, as each button press will light up a block if it is the next one in its sequence. Otherwise, it will reset that block’s selected colors. Letting the board fill up means game over. There’s Classic mode, where up to 6 colors come in to play; Arcade mode where only 2 colors are used but the blocks fall quicker; Timed mode where a screen of blocks must be cleared before time runs out; and Zen mode, where the player can choose how many colors they want to play with.

The concept is thankfully original, and it’s really more of a game of fast-thinking than one of methodical plotting. Success is a question of recognizing the board, and making the most efficient moves to clear it out. The game’s main mode, Classic, which eventually introduces up to 6 colors, does pose an interesting control conundrum. The spaces for each individual color get to be rather small, and the transformation of each space is jarring at first. However, I had surprisingly few issues with accidental pushes, because it becomes apparent that it’s actually About careful input, and trying to frantically hit each color when the aboard fills up is a quick way to lose. Finding ways to keep the board from overflowing while making as few redundant moves, like recognizing where a previous match started another one, will lead to high scores. And if the controls still pose a problem, then the thumb-friendly Arcade mode is there for that reason. It is fun in its own right, and explores the avenue that the Classic mode appears to be going down before it introduces more colors.

The colors are the problem, though: the green and yellow that start the game off can be rather tricky to decipher because they’re both such bright hues. I can only imagine how tricky it would be for people with colorblindness. There’s no option to configure the colors, either: multiple schemes could definitely help enjoyment of the game by finding one that works for the individual person, and to even address potential colorblindness issues. As well, some way to tell where a block ends and the next one begins would be helpful.

Matchblocks is where I like to see puzzle games heading: it’s a very different execution, and it works extremely well. Don’t let the word “Match” in the title be off-putting, this is not a match–3 game and it stands on its own as a fun original concept.

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