Match 3D Flick Puzzle—flick everything else and get this

Posted: July 31, 2009 in Puzzle

The Match-3 category has become synonymous with mobile gaming and iTunes has seen more than its share. So it takes a lot these days to get people, or more importantly, me to actually care when a new one is released. Match 3D Flick Puzzle caught my attention with a highly stylized appearance and the mind boggling responsibility of dealing with 512 blocks more or less at the same time. The Match-3 play in this game will stress you out regardless of whether you’re an advanced player or a novice who doesn’t know any better. And, you will come back for more.

As the name implies, the game is played on a 3D screen shaped like a cube and made up of hundreds of smaller blocks. Think of a giant Rubik’s cube except more elaborate. Deceptively simple, moves on one side of the cube can have implications all over the place creating combos and chain reactions that will either help or hinder.

Before I even get into the different game modes, the visuals deserve highlighting because they’re done amazing well. From the designs on each block to the background on which this mother cube floats is beautiful and mesmerizing especially during gameplay. The viewing control is pretty interesting because you view in its entirety or view individual sides. And when viewing the cube in its entirety, you can rotate it by tilt, finger flick or shaking the device. Moving blocks is as simple as tapping, and you can pinch to zoom in and out. Running on my iPod Touch 2g 3.0, Match 3D Flick is smooth enough that the physics of the on-screen cube behave just like a real cube.

The game offers three different soundtracks to stimulate or blow your mind—techno, classical and even something that sounds like it came from a Star Trek movie. Speaking of choices, the options are plentiful enough that I could probably write an entire review covering those. You can choose to use different blocks, power up blocks, and even obstacle blocks. Literally, you can customize this game to fit your mood.

You two primary modes of play to choose from—Classic and Survival, but with all the options and combinations, it evolves into 8 game modes. At its most basic, you can choose to play either a timed or untimed game which by itself opens this game up to a broad audience. In Classic, cleared tiles are replaced with new tiles with the objective of clearing a specific number of matches in order to complete the level. Survival on the other hand is a lot tougher since you have to find and make all possible matches before clearing a level. A counter will keep track of remaining matches. I mentioned the option to play in a timed mode. For every match made in timed mode, time is added and combos and chain reactions will help immensely. Regardless of what your preferences, you should be able to customize Match 3D Flick accordingly.

While the game has special blocks—wild card, bombs, locked and clear—it’s the bonuses that add an extra element and heavy dose of variety to the game. These skills enable special moves and are based on accumulated points made through matches. I mentioned the designs of the individual blocks, and each of design represents a different skill or power up.

Destroy: Destroys a single block
Hue: Changes a block into a wild card
Yellow Shift: Changes blocks into yellow blocks
Sight: Highlights all blocks that can be matched
Teleport: Swap the location of 2 blocks
Transmute: Changes a block into a random block
Randomize: Shuffles all the blocks
Judgment: Destroys all blocks of a single type

Once you have enough of a skill to activate a power up, an icon appears which can be used at any time.

The gameplay is simply a lot of fun but can much more challenging that you would expect. The sheer number of blocks on a single panel can be daunting so imagine dealing with 6 panels’ worth. And as you make matches, they can have a profound impact on other blocks that you may not even seen or know about. In a typical game, a chain reaction if large enough can create multiple matches and subsequent combos and reactions simultaneously. Imagine a house of cards and the impact of pulling a single card from the middle, and that’s what you have with Match 3D Flick. Visually, it’s impressive to watch those explosions and add in the rush as time winds down, it can be intense for a Match-3 game at heart. Playing Survival mode timed will have you pulling your hair because it’s brain teaser to figure out how to clear the entire screen of blocks. I seriously tried this several times, and didn’t get through level 1. If you’re like me, you’ll take advantage of the game’s ability to save multiple games in progress. I currently have 4 games split between Classic and Survival which I can pick up and play at any time.

Match 3D Flick is loaded with options and brings a different type of challenge to the Match-3 category. The unique interface and responsive controls combined with the large number of game modes makes replay value a non-issue. And, my guess is that this game will have a place on many devices for a long time.

Albie Meter: 5 Stars (highly recommended if you enjoy puzzles or Match-3 and want a unique challenge; plenty of options, almost too many, make this a keeper)

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