Developer: Northcube
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.10
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s hard to start up Northcube’s Who Stole Me? without immediately thinking of the classic polka tune “Who Stole the Kishka?” Of course the two have nothing in common. One is a match-three puzzle game, and the other is a dish composed of cow or pig intestines stuffed with meat and meal. Both have their charms.

Unlike kishska, however, Who Stole Me? is easily digestible. Being a match-three game, it’s easy to learn and play with minimal instruction. Whenever a level begins, the screen fills with colored bubbles. Players simply draw a line across groups of bubbles numbering three or more to pop them.

The more bubbles popped, the better. Popping large groups of bubbles creates power-ups that blow up surrounding bubbles, or pops all spheres sharing the same color. Since level goals need to be met within a certain number of moves, these power-ups often mean the difference between victory and failure.

whostoleme_03whostoleme_02Level goals include popping a certain amount of bubbles, clearing away ice blocks by making matches next to them, or (my favorite) clearing away colored blocks of Jell-O by matching them up with bubbles of the same color. It’s pretty fun to watch the Jell-O blocks wiggle and jiggle.

Fun with Jell-O aside, there’s nothing new or remarkable about Who Stole Me?. There’s nothing offensive about it, either. It’s a decent match-three game that should keep players busy and mildly happy for a few hours.

Being a free-to-play game, however, later levels in Who Stole Me? get pretty rough. It becomes harder and harder to meet level goals within the allotted number of moves. Unsurprisingly, when the player runs out of moves they’re given the option to buy more with real-world cash.

Nevertheless, Who Stole Me? is amusing and comforting to play, even when failing to complete a level goal forces a restart. There are worse games to peck at while waiting for a bus.

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