Puzzle Family VS Review

Our Review by Brad Hilderbrand on February 24th, 2012
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: DISAPPOINTING
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Keep the crazy art of the original Puzzle Family but take away everything that made it fun.

Developer: Com2Us
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Devices Reviewed On: iPhone 4S, iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Often times, it's easy for apps made in Japan, Korea and other Eastern nations to find success in the West because they're so quirky and silly. That was the case with last year's Puzzle Family, which packed fast-paced gameplay, wacky characters and a delightful array of mini-games all in one zany package. Now the series is back with the new Puzzle Family VS, and even though the sheer craziness has returned, the fun gameplay and nice variety hasn't.

The only game mode in Puzzle Family VS is a match-three game where colored blocks slowly descend from the top of the screen and players must quickly tap to move them around and make them disappear. Bonus points are awarded for making consecutive matches, and sustained great play leads to the triggering of fever mode. Along the way there are power-ups to grab such as bombs and the ability to clear an entire column, but there are also obstacles in the order of cardboard boxes that cover the blocks and an angry cloud that clutters up the game screen. The entire affair is fast-paced but shallow, and after you've played a couple rounds you've pretty much seen it all.

As its name implies, Puzzle Family VS is meant to be played against other humans, but the broken balance means newcomers are at a horrendous disadvantage. The game's store is chock full of items that will enhance your abilities, but the upgrades don't come cheap so you're forced to choose between ponying up cash for the good stuff or boring yourself to death in the hum-drum single player. While the game may be enjoyable for fully powered-up characters who can engage in epic battles with other top-level foes it sure isn't much fun for those of us who don't want to spend an arm and a leg on ultimately frivolous things.

Puzzle Family VS strips out nearly all the components that made the first game in the series great, leaving only a cutesy shell with very little soul. Barring some sort of abiding love for this franchise there's very little reason to check this one out, even though it's currently free. When the price returns to normal then definitely stay away, as this is a game which seeks to suck up your money and provide very little entertainment in return.

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