What do you get if you take the basic premise of matching three symbols to get them to disappear and combine that with some cool physics engine, a dab of Bubble Bash and slap a lower case i in front of the name? Well you get iPhyzzle of course. There might be 100 other match three games with various unique takes on the formula so what really distinguishes iPhyzzle from the rest of them? Not much really as at heart all match three games play the same.
iPhyzzle takes inspiration from many different kind of games and combines it into something new. You shoot the active ball in a Bubble Bash manner with a lot of control over the shot. The balls have different symbols inside them and you have to match these in the typical match three manner. You also have physics to take into consideration as the balls have weight and misplaced shots may send a lot of them falling outside the game area.
There are some game elements that I haven’t seen before like the open game area that is defined by a red line and one or more blue walls that the balls cling to. If a ball is connected to the wall or another ball and touches the red line the ball disappears and you loose life from your lifebar. When you match three you fill your lifebar and once full you have completed the level. Combos fill it even faster so it is wise to plan ahead.
The physics play a big part into making iPhyzzle an enjoyable experience as it gives the game an organic feel to it. The balls cling together and move about like vines in the wind. They have different weight according to size and it is important to make sure to avoid getting a lot of big balls hanging without proper support.
There are two game modes, adventure and challenge mode. Adventure lets you play 28 stages of increasing difficulty and challenge mode lets you play 16 stages of timed challenges. The symbols found inside the balls increase making it harder to match and clear the level from balls. I have some difficulty to tell some of the symbols apart as they get really small when there are tow or more within the ball. This creates some frustration when I place balls totally wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised by this game and my initial fear that this would be another boring match three was unfounded. The gameplay is smooth, music is nicely upbeat and the physics bring an extra challenge to the game mechanics.
Presentation & Graphics
Nice futuristic backgrounds and pleasant interface. As mentioned earlier the symbols within the balls can be a bit small and hard to distinguish creating room for some poorly placed balls. The balls explodes in a satisfying pop I always look forward to. A bit lacking in character and personality making it a bit forgettable.
The music is pleasant and varied but I am not sure whether it harmonise with the graphics and theme of the game. The sound effects are what you expect from a game with popping balls and are used to good effect. You can’t play your own iPhone music unless you do the double home button trick and then you miss out on the sound effects.
Easy to get hooked to the simple game mechanic. Shooting can at times be difficult as you put your finger over the ball to aim and shoot, a little arrow shows the direction the ball will travel but often you have your finger in the way. The game is quite forgiving to small errors as balls cling together often bridging the gap created by a missed by not aiming properly. I often find myself trying to tilt the iPhone to effect how the balls dangle but there is no such function in the game.
The game features a lot of levels and you can chase your own high scores. There are no achievements or unlockables but the biggest problem might be that the game is a bit generic and lacking in personality which might hinder the interest in playing to get to the next level.
iPhyzzle is a competent match three game that is easy to get into but lacking staying power over time as it feels a bit lacking in personality. I can definitely recommend you to download and spend some time with the lite version to see if iPhyzzle is a game for you.