148Apps Network Post
Developer: Puzzle Brothers

Price: $1.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Any type of tilt based gameplay mechanics are usually a turn off for me, but in the case of “ball in a labyrinth” style games I always make an exception. Puzzle Sphere is a 2D rendition of the classic labyrinth game with added obstacles and a goal driven formula that tasks players with collecting crystals to earn stars. Those stars in turn unlock new themed worlds and more challenges. The game is an odd mix of old and new territory, and it manages to be quite entertaining.

In Puzzle Sphere players must guide a ball down several platforms and into a teleportation gate. The catch is there are crystals to collect, a score timer, and several nasty obstacles to avoid (buzz saws, spikes, lasers, bees, and all other manner of evil). The physics in Puzzle Sphere are a little hard to get used to at first because the ball builds momentum faster than expected, but once I mastered it I was zooming through levels and having a blast. Most of the puzzles are cleverly designed and intuitive, but a few were nightmarishly frustrating. Normally I would complain about an uneven difficulty curve, but the addictive gameplay kept me returning for more punishment. Plus, victory is much sweeter after failing a level 20 times before. I think the key to success in Puzzle Sphere is patience, but I like how the timer clock adds a sense of urgency to each stage. The game also features some snazzy backgrounds and appropriate music; it has a great presentation because the graphics used are mostly bright and colorful, and the music is eerily soothing.

The game has plenty of content with multiple themed worlds and tons of levels; their are also options to connect to Gamecenter or Facebook. Being that I have a mild OCD issue, I tended to master each level with three stars before moving on, but more curious players can access new themes early on by earning just enough stars. Overall, Puzzle Sphere is an entertaining app with a sizable portion of content and a challenging but rewarding difficulty curve. Players seeking out an action puzzle game should find the whole experience quite satisfying.

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