StoneLoops! of Jurassica an easy choice

Posted: May 15, 2009 in Puzzle

The devs have said that they worked on StoneLoops! of Jurassica for six months before releasing this. It shows. This is easily one of the best bangs for your buck you will find in a match-3 type game. Honestly, with the amount of content, visual eye-candy and overall gameplay, StoneLoops! should be selling for significantly more than it’s current price, and my guess is people would be more than willing to part with their money.

Visually, StoneLoops is a lively and vibrantly presented game from the tutorial to the actual gameplay environments. If you ever needed an example of a polished looking game, StoneLoops would have to be one of them (in my opinion, the others would be Azkend and Treasures of Montezuma). Soundwise, the soundtrack is upbeat and includes voiceovers.

In the tradition of Zuma, StoneLoops is not your typical match-3 game. In fact, the objective here is to complete the 75 levels throughout the five realms of Jurassica—Jungle, Glacier, Swamp, Desert, and Volcano. As you complete the levels within each realm, you upgrade and own homes.

The game has three control options to control your shooter: touch, tilt and buttons. They all work as intended, but my preference is the tilt. The game has two modes of play: Classic and Grab n’Shoot. Classic mode involves shooting stones to match 3 or more of the same colored stones before they reach the end. Some helpful tools include the ability to see the next stone that will be in play as well as being able to swap stones. Grab n’ Shoot allows you to use your shooter to grab stones and then shoot them in order to match 3 or more of the same colored stones. It sounds pretty basic so far, but that’s only part of the game.

In both play modes, there are a number of power ups including:

Boost—adds 10% to the progress bar
Storm—lightening bolts cuts through stones
Meteor—meteor shower disintegrates stones
Spear—shoots spears to destroy stones
Stop—stops stones from moving for a few seconds
Reverse—reverses stones for a few seconds
Multicolor—changes color of a stone to match adjacent stones

There are more, but those are the key ones.

In addition, Stoneloops has an achievement system where you can win trophies based on gameplay. These include:

StoneLoops Cup—completing 15 levels
Persistent Goddess—activating 100 chain reactions
Bag o’ Jewels—gathering 100 diamonds
Reason for Pride—scoring 500,000 points

StoneLoops is simply a fun game to play and as you complete levels, the house in that realm visually changes. The gameplay is smooth, and with any of the control options, you’ll find maneuvering accurate. At the beginning of each level, an overview page shows the home within that realm, the number of upgrades, the number of levels completed, and total score in addition to a map illustrating your progress. There’s also a reminder of how many more levels are needed before the next upgrade.

As you play, another aspect of StoneLoops that differentiates it from other similar games are the gems. When you first start, the stones come in single long strands, but as you progress through the levels, you’ll be dealing with multiple strings in increasingly twisted paths. As you clear individual strings, the holder pushing the strings explodes into gems which you can capture with your shooter for additional bonus points. It’s really a nice part of StoneLoops and shows the devs’ attention to detail.

With a ton of levels, a variety of unique touches (gems, power ups), and one of the most polished presentations, StoneLoops is a solid game and a sure bet to be a success.

Albie Meter: 5 stars (at the intro price, StoneLoops is a no brainer)

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