Quadra Review

Our Review by Jason Wadsworth on December 8th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FRANTIC FOURS
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Matching four blocks is no easy task in this frenzied block matching game.

Developer: Cage of Monkeys Games

Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Quadra is a block stacking game in which players take 2x2 blocks made of different combinations of smaller red and blue blocks and try to stack them to make new blocks that are 2x2 or larger. When the player successfully creates new blocks those blocks are cleared from the screen as a bar that continually loops from the top of the screen to the bottom passes over them. In this way, Quadra is not unlike the popular multi-platform matching game Lumines, except for the fact that rhythm isn't as much of a game component as it is in Lumines. The progression of the bar is somewhat rhythmic and the music is good, but the two don't seem to be connected in any way.

While Quadra plays in a very similar way to other games of the same style, it differs in some important ways. As players progress into higher difficulties, they are able to unlock new power-ups to help them achieve higher scores. These are things like bombs that clear out an area of the screen or blocks of a certain color, or special blocks that will switch the positions of other blocks or act as wild card blocks. The gameplay is frantic and moves very quickly so these power-ups can be the difference between success and defeat. However, as the gameplay becomes more hectic it becomes ever harder to successfully employ the power-ups and they can become more distracting than they are helpful. Everyone loves power-ups but if they don't fit the game's cadence they can quickly become tiresome.

The factor that most upsets the balance between the enjoyable gameplay and the successful use of the power-ups is Quadra's on-screen button controls. These touch controls work just fine and they are plenty responsive, however the biggest issue is how the buttons are laid out on the screen. Their awkward placement on the screen makes it very easy to hit the wrong button at the wrong time. An alternate control method or custom button placements would go a long way to making Quadra more manageable and much more enjoyable.

Control issues aside, this is a great block matching game with some strong elements that fans of matching and stacking games can certainly enjoy. The game's three modes -- consisting of different time lengths, each with three different difficulty levels -- give players in any mood a way to enjoy the game. Quadra isn't the most polished matching game out there, but it does what it should and if players can get past the cumbersome controls they will likely have a lot of fun.

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