Peabrain Games have released ‘Gamelab’, a unique game idea that lets you try out many different game styles and genres all for one initial payment of just two dollars. Currently, Gamelab comes packaged with three games: Lines, Blink and Oh Snap! But each month a new game will be added through a free update. Each game allows the player to feedback to the developer their experience with the game, allowing Peabrain to test and fine tune them.
Here’s a mini-review breakdown of the three launch games.
Oh Snap! is a frantic bubble popping game that requires you to pop as many bubbles as you can before the time runs out and stop them popping on the grass floor. If any reach the grass, you will lose one of ten lives. Power ups are available such as bombs which pop surrounding bubbles. Health bubbles restore your lives, a sponge will wipe the screen clean of bubbles, a timer slows down their approach and a bonus token bubble needs multiple taps before popping. You can also speed up time by holding your finger on the screen. You pop the bubbles by tapping on them. I found light tapping is most effective. Overall it’s a very simple but enjoyable game, the graphics have a clean flash look to them, the sound effects are good but the music while fitting, get’s very repetitive. It’s ideal for casual players looking for a quick diversion.
Lines is a mind numbing puzzler in a similar vein to a Rubik’s Cube but in two dimensions. You are given a pattern which you must match by sliding tiles around. The challenge comes from the fact that every row or column you slide affects the others, so you must think carefully before making your move. Early levels are a breeze, but as the amount of tiles increase and the patterns become more complex… the difficulty get’s almost unbearable. You can play the game in level order, or choose any level from the list. None are locked. Again graphics are simple but clean and functional. Music and sound is good but again the music is repetitive…. this, I guess, is understandable give the quick nature of the game development. Unlike Oh Snap!, Lines has more last-ability and can either be enjoyed in short bursts or in long brain-bending play sessions. Perfect for puzzle fans.
Blink is a bat and ball game which can be played either against the computer or with two players on one device. Simply hit the ball past your opponents paddle to score. There are powerups you can pick up to aid you such as paddle expanding, opponent paddle shrinkage and multi balls. To play, you drag your finger in your paddle area and drag it around to move your paddle into the path of the oncoming ball. I found the controls to work well overall, but occasionally the paddle would not react in time to my actions. While two player is fun, I found the single play against the AI opponent frustrating… even on easy the AI is too good at returning, resulting in some dull and drawn out rallies. Overall, it’s an average take on the pong style game. The graphics are uninspired, the sound basic (maybe intentionally so) and the gameplay get’s old fast. I would recommend only playing with a friend. It’s easily the weakest of the three so far.
As I mentioned before, all three allow the player to feedback on their experiences with the games. This includes reporting bugs, requesting features or submitting your own game ideas. it’s a great idea and with two of three games featured so far performing well overall, I look forward to the next release and hope for some real gems!
Check out the video below of Gamelab in action.