I’m a sucker!.. Why? Because the bright colours and cute characters of Chillingo’s Piyo Blocks 2 have made me like match 3 again!
Piyo blocks 2 is a match 3 game in the same vein as Bejewelled and Zoo Keeper, where you must flip neighbouring coloured blocks in order to match up identical blocks in a row of three. The three blocks then disappear, and blocks above them fall into their place, as well as new blocks appearing from the top. So, nothing new here you ask! And you’d be right. The reason I love this version do much is that, it doesn’t try anything new, instead it does it all with extreme polish and ease of use. It’s a joy to play, with candy coated graphics of cute little birds and sweet like blocks, and addictive music that you will be humming in your sleep.
Like Zoo Keeper, the main single player mode sees you capturing a quota of blocks before levelling up. You have a timer for each level, which refills as you successfully make a match, as well as fully filling when completing a level. Should the timer run out of juice, it’s game over. There are three other single player modes, Time Attack (how many blocks can you match within the time limit?), 3 Seconds (you have 3 seconds per move) and Hyaku mode (where your quota for each block is a whopping 99, can you make it that far?). A multiplayer mode lets you play the main level based single player campaign, but against each other… first to fail is out!
On iPhone and iPad the game is essentially the same, only on iPad I feel it works better in both single and multiplayer purely on the increased screen size. Not only is easier to play with the blocks being that much bigger, but also it offers one of the best same-screen multiplayer I have seen on iPad. Multiplayer on the iPhone lets you play two players on separated devices. As you match blocks a power bar at the bottom of the screen increases until you have earned enough for a power up. You can unleash this power up, or wait a little longer to power it up further. There are four power ups in all, and when unleashed on your opponent, sends a character to their screen and attempts to foil their progress. These include turning blocks to ice, knocking them all down, or covering them with juice. On iPhone this is a great way to play, but on iPad it’s even better. Using a split-screen mode you can play side-by-side, or at opposite ends (a flip option allows you to flip the split-screens separately). There’s something about playing on the same screen that makes it more fun, as you watch your power ups slide over to their screen and unleash mayhem. It has that board game feel to it, or fond memories of arcade cocktail cabinets.
Piyo Blocks 2 is an extremely polished match 3 title. As a single player experience it’s great, but grab a friend for some seriously addicting play sessions.