Developer: Vertigo Software
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sometimes you come across a concept in a game and you wonder why no one tried it before. The makers of Virus Strike clearly looked at what works so well – namely Tetris, Bejewelled and Flight Control – and combined the three. It’s a risky manoeuvre when you bear in mind that each of those games are so successful because of their simplicity. Combining them runs the risk of overcomplicating matters. Admittedly Virus Strike does take a little while to ‘click,’ but when it does, it’s good fun.

A flood of germs come down the screen, just like the blocks from Tetris, and you have to direct them in the appropriate direction. You do this via drawing lines on the screen thus creating a ramp or barrier effect which then diverts the germ in the right direction. All very Flight Control like then. Finally, the Bejewelled element comes in the form of matching the colours together. Every now and then, an antibody appears which you must direct to the relevant group of colours, thus wiping them out and gaining points.

At first it feels a little awkward to remember to draw the lines. Perhaps stupidly I found myself initially a little overwhelmed by being thrown in the deep end. While there is a video tutorial available, it would have been nice if there’d been a tutorial level to participate in. Despite this though, Virus Strike is good fun once you get the hang of it and realise that physics do play a part here. For example, if you tilt the screen, the viruses react as they come flying down the screen.

Virus Strike is never going to be the deepest of games. This is clearly a game to drop in and out of when you fancy some quick puzzle fun. It offers that in abundance though. If you fancy something a bit different from the usual Bejewelled method of matching gems, Virus Strike is well worth a shot.

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