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Mosaique Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 9th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A REAL BRICK-BREAKER
Line 'em up and clear 'em out in this topsy-turvy tile matching puzzle game.
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Battle for Niria Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE WORK
This online puzzle rpg could use a bit more time in the oven.
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Grid 101 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 12th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HARD TO PLACE
There's a lot to be done with this grid but it can be tough to actually play any of it.
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Jelly All Stars Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on January 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BACK TO BASICS
This no-frills puzzle game is a decent time-waster for familiarities' sake, but it doesn't bring much that's new to the table.
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Rise of the Blobs Review

Posted by Rob Rich on January 22nd, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Robot Invader
Price: FREE
Version: 1.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar


Anyone who’s been a part of most social or family gatherings is no doubt familiar with the Jello Mold. These bricks of edible gelatin and suspended fruit are something of a mainstay in our culture, after all. But few know where the concept really came from. This is no mere simple desert to make for half-hearted get-togethers, it’s a tradition meant to remind us of a horrible amorphous threat and the many fruits that were chucked in order to quell it.

Rise of the Blobs centers around a little talking marshmallow named Mal and his desperate fight for survival against a horde of colorful blobs. Mal was able to take shelter in a rather high place before the horde got to him but these jellied monsters are crafty. They’ve begun to pile on top of each other in an attempt to reach the lone survivor, and the only means he has to fend them off is a near limitless supply of fruit. Players can rotate their view around the column by swiping to the side and can expedite a given fruit’s descent by swiping down. The trick is to get the right fruit to the right blob (i.e. an orange to orange, strawberry to red, etc), then to pop it with a tap once it’s been absorbed. Any like-colored blobs that are touching will also be destroyed in a ripple effect that can drastically effect the blobs’ layout. As the game progresses the action starts to speed up and failure becomes inevitable, but any and all coins earned along the way can be used to buy useable items or permanent upgrades as well as unlock new power-ups in order to make successive attempts a tad easier.

The environments and blobs sport a fun and cartoony design, and the way the screen will sometimes get splattered with juices during particularly large chains of explosions is nice, but I found the sheer variety to be the most impressive part of the visuals. Each level has its own particular theme, complete with different blobs and fruits. I was totally content with the starting level’s look as it is, but this is even better. There’s also plenty of incentive to keep playing thanks to all the unlockable modes, items to buy in the shop, and “missions” to complete. That and it’s just fun to play.

My one complaint about Rise of the Blobs is that when the difficulty ramps up it ramps up hard, even after the update. Once Mal starts to chuck fruit at warp speed it’s extremely tough not to get overwhelmed. At least not without a coconut bomb or two.

Even with the difficulty Rise of the Blobs is still plenty of fun. So much so that losing typically ends up being just another excuse to play again. Or maybe get Mal a new hat.

Dream of Pixels Review

Posted by Rob Rich on November 21st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Dawn of Play
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.14
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar


I was one of those kids who played a lot of Tetris. I mean a lot. So much that I dreamt of falling blocks and line clearing for a while. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising to know that I’ve since gotten rather burned out on the whole thing. Then a game like Dream of Pixels comes out and starts the whole cycle all over again.

The way I’ve been describing Dream of Pixels to everyone I’ve been recommending it to - and it’s been quite a few people - is “similar to Tetris.” Or rather, “It’s Tetris, but upside-down and backwards.” Rather than slotting together blocks that fall from the top of the screen and clearing multiple lines in order to keep from wiping out, players have to remove pieces from a large mass that slowly creeps toward the bottom of the screen. At least, that’s how the main game works. There are several other variants that can be unlocked that are just as habit forming.

Dream of Pixels is one of those puzzle games that’s simply awesome. The core mode goes on and on until there are too many mistakes, and the longer a player can last the better the chances of them unlocking more modes. Granted I’ve yet to unlock the last three variations (Pro, Nightmare, and Shattered Dream) because the main game can get pretty crazy, but I have unlocked Puzzle. Puzzle Mode is practically another game in itself and quite possibly even better than Classic. In this variation there are no time limits but rather blocky images that need to be deconstructed. A specific set of pieces is available in a particular order and the goal is to strategically remove each one in order until the image is gone. It’s kind of like Picross, also backwards.

And yet, with all this awesome Dream of Pixels has two major drawbacks. First, the controls for lining up pieces (dragging) are a bit finicky and can occasionally lead to a few missed opportunities and flubbed withdrawals.
The second and far bigger problem is that any play session of any game type almost always results in a staggering amount of lost time. Seriously, this game is a menace to subway commuters with any intention of getting off at a particular stop.

It’s amazing how fresh a classic puzzle game can feel with a little change in perspective. Dream of Pixels successfully revitalizes one of the most popular styles of puzzle, turns it on its head, and changes the rules while still keeping everything familiar. The sheer addictiveness is more than enough to warrant a purchase but the wealth of bonus modes (especially Puzzle) make it a no-brainer.

Async Corp. Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on July 4th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GREAT CLEAN FUN
Basic colors and a few smiley faces belie what may just be the most addicting block puzzle game to come out of the App Store in quite some time.
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Mooniz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 9th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: CUTE & SQUISHY
A cute and colorful take on group-popping puzzles with some surprising depth.
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Collision Effect Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Fanguy on March 11th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EYE-CATCHING
Collision Effect is one of those games that you just can't judge by looking at it, although it makes for good eye candy. Its dazzling graphics and perceived simplicity will easily sink their hooks into you and make you come back for more.
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