The aliens have landed straight into a slide puzzle.
Alien Hive is a match three slider puzzle that invents a formula I have not seen previously. At first glance it looks like an ordinary match three game, but as you can only move the tile next to the open space it becomes an entire new game. The match three gameplay is not your usual affair either, but rather more like that found in Alchemy and Triple Towns. When you match three, or more objects you get a higher-grade object. These in turn can be matched to produce even more valuable objects.
The gameplay is slow, and deliberate. You have to plan at least three moves ahead to not waste moves. When out of moves the game is over, and to get more you can match crystals. These disappear from the board when matched making them a priority, as you both get extra moves and more objects to match.
There are powerups aplenty, and you refill them by making great moves. There is also a heavy focus on IAP that is advertised quite often. For a free game you kind of have to accept either IAP, or ads. Alien Hive has both, albeit the ads are for games and show up as popups you can close. No permanent banner ads to be found, and thank god for that.
Aliens turn up on the board to disrupt your plans by locking objects, and misbehaving in general. This is one of the great things about Alien Hive, as it keeps introducing new challenges and powerups at a steady pace. This also means that you are kept on your toes, and not just casually making the simple matches. Making combos to refill powerups soon becomes a priority.
The presentation is quite good with a nice variety of objects to match. Effects when using powerups are also quite pleasing, and make me want to power up again. The music is there, but neither intrusive nor memorable.
If you are a fan of Bejeweled, Triple Towns, Alchemy or slide puzzles this is a no-brainer. If you cringe when playing Resident Evil, and the slide puzzles show up this is not for you. Alien Hive is a refreshing mashup of genres, and it is a game that is easy to get into and really hard to put away.
Alien Hive Free Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod