Price: $0.99 (on Sale)
Version Reviewed: 2.1.1
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
iPhone Integration [rating:3/5]
User Interface [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4/5]
By now, I'm sure that we're all pretty much familiar with this generic match-3 genre .. and I'll be the first to admit that it has become extremely generic and stagnant. That said, every once in a while developers surprise me by finding and applying new and unique ways which make match 3 their own. Over the weekend I got the time to have a quick play around with another. Developed by Bloomslang Games, Tetryon is a futuristic styled match-3 title which bases its concept on making explosive reactions using different types of coloured glowing glyphs. Each of these glowing glyphs are different in their initial shape and harness different unique properties.
Opening the app and starting to play you may start to believe you're playing another Trism, or Bejeweled, but progressing through the game you'll see its the little strategic methods and processes you have to play around which make Tetryon all the more playable. Set out on a 20 sectioned board, the game plays out over 62 levels over 3 worlds, including; Prototype, Kemetic and Bitcrush - each of which get harder in difficulty the further through the game to proceed. All in all, there are 75 glyphs you'll need to get to grips with, with 10 volatiles there to help you. Volatiles can be used to get rid of surrounding glyphs on the playing board and therefore releasing space to put down more glyphs in order to create more reactions.
To create a reaction within Tetryon you have to match 3 glyphs in a row (either horizontally or vertically). To do this you simply pick up and drop the glyphs from the glyph generator located at the bottom of the screen. Sounds easy right? .. But there's a catch. In order for a reaction to be counted as a valid one, the third and completing glyph must land or be placed in-between two other glyphs of matching shape. By adding this simple restriction, the game becomes a whole lot more difficult and challenging than perhaps other match-3 type titles. Not only because you have to think about where you're place glyphs on the board strategically, but also having to avoid blocking a potential future reaction from happening, by placing other glyphs on the board. As you progress through the levels, your playing board gets smaller and smaller, with the game placing these 'metallic slabs' down wherever it pleases, adding even more challenge to gameplay.
Along the way you can use these things called volatiles. These are used for two purposes. The first is if you need to complete a reaction you can use a volatile as a wild card, meaning it will act as any shape or coloured glyph, and complete the reaction for you. The other use all the more useful, allowing to to get rid of nuisance glyphs which are just getting in your way. Volatiles can obliterate these for you, allowing you to continue creating reactions and gaining points! Although, there's a catch. Leave a volatile on the board for too long and it will explode. If you're really stuck and need to save a glyph for later but not actually place it on the board yet, in the bottom panel of the game screen there are two 'holding areas'. Now, glyphs will stay here forever until you choose to use them at a later date. Volatiles however, after a short visual warning, will burn out and become useless to you.
Summing up, Tetryon is a highly playable puzzler which lends its gameplay from match-3, but in the same sentence uses restrictions and methods to further enhance its combined gameplay. While I did feel the game could have benefited from use of the iPhones accelerometer, Tetryon's visual style and accompanying sounds make for intense and at times frezied gameplay which I have to say can't be rivaled with anything I've previously played in the match-3 genre.