This isn’t your average match puzzle game! Match games are one of the more popular, and overly cloned type of puzzle game you’ll find on any handheld device, the top hitters being the likes of Bejeweled, Puzzle Quest and Rise of Atlantis (a seriously good game). So why bother with this?
It’s as if Bejeweled was mashed up with Tetris. The basic concept of matching blocks/colors is there, but the way in which it’s been implemented is different to any other game of this type I’ve played.
A line that you mustn’t let the blocks build above is drawn on the top half of your screen, then different colour blocks start to drop in. The aim is to tap as many blocks of the same colour to select them, then tap again to eliminate them. The more blocks you tap before elimination improves your score.
As the game progresses you’re offered different power-ups and score multipliers are introduced allowing you to link different coloured cubes together to increase your score. Equally different hindrances begin to appear too, mostly in the form of wooden blocks that can only be removed by using the bomb power-up.
The game visuals are amazingly sharp and colourful, but kept simple and the blocks all react to your actions with realtime physics. Less really is more with the graphics here. The game plays at a lightning fast pace and if Appular had included a bunch of different effects thrown in here the screen would get too crowded and the game wouldn’t be as fun to play, so good call on the developer’s part.
What Push Panic does best is put pressure on the player. At different point throughout the game the speed begins to get faster and faster and you’ll find yourself frantically tapping blocks like a madman cursing at your iPhone when you select the wrong block and completely killing all momentum you’ve built up. Then the only block you’ll want to eliminate is your iPhone… by throwing it at the wall (This is not advised).
You work through 50 levels in classic mode, other game modes available to you are know as Panic modes. Color Panic, Score Panic and Time Panic, all fast paced variations of the traditional gameplay. Score Panic puts you in endless mode where you have to get the highest score possible before failing out. Color Panic where you run again in an endless mode and play for high score but as soon as you have 8 blocks of the same color on screen the game ends. Time Panic which is like a Bejeweled Blitz version of gameplay, giving you 180 seconds to score as high as possible.
The addictive gameplay style pulls you in immediately, hooking you from the first level. Start with Classic mode and it will teach you the basics and explain the different power-ups. You’ll blitz through the first few levels then the game starts to crank up the difficulty and really makes you work for your high score.
Each level in Classic mode has Bronze, Silver and Gold medals up for grabs that are dependant on your final score. You will have to have lightning fast reactions to achieve those gold medals.
Game Center and OpenFient is implemented for those of you who like to compare and compete for high scores with friends.
Push Panic is a simple game that doesn’t require much explanation, but it’s one of those games that has the addictive factor that keeps you going back to it again and again for more, coupled with perfectly fitting visuals I find it hard to fault this game. It would have been nice if they had introduced a multiplayer so you can play directly against friends on wifi or bluetooth, but we can’t have it all.
Pick up Push Panic now on the appstore for $1.99