Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Marble-shooters have been around since the app store launched years ago and there are many to choose from. Despite the competition, Sparkle 2 stands out from the rest because of its gorgeous visuals and multifaceted gameplay. I’ve played other similar games, but none come as close to offering the complete package like Sparkle 2.
I had a lot of fun playing this game because the controls and concept are simple and there is a large meta-game aspect involved. Players can unlock enchantments that vary the gameplay. Example include the “speed unleashed” enchantment that makes the orbs, what most other games refer to as marbles, fly faster and the “tranquility” enchantment that makes the orb chain move slower. I could tell that the developers knew a regular marble-shooter gets repetitive after a while so they included plenty of others things to focus on besides the gameplay.
While not unique by any means to Sparkle 2, the power-ups that oftentimes appear completely away from the orb chain, make gameplay more interesting since they can help enormously if a level is going poorly and they all look neat. In fact, all of Sparkle 2 looks and sounds great. The graphics are vibrant and beautiful, and the soundtrack is spot-on.
I was surprised how difficult the levels in Sparkle 2 can get. When the marbles come in from multiple directions and the path loops around on itself, things can get tricky fast. With over 90 levels in different settings, there is plenty of content, and the difficult ramps up at a nice pace. Also, there are a total of 3 modes in Sparkle 2: Story, Survival, and Challenge. All the different levels and game modes, along with the enchantments, make for hours of gameplay.
There is a story behind the game, but it doesn’t impose itself too much, and the game is still fun even if it is ignored. It does tie in nicely though with the world map where players can choose how to navigate the world.
Although $2.99 is on the higher end of app store prices for games, Sparkle 2 is more than worth it. The hours of gameplay, countless levels, and three playing modes make it a game that can be enjoyed for hours. Considering a marble-shooter game is a simple concept, the developers were really able to flesh out a deep and engrossing game.