Reviews

Topple Review

Review by Matt Dunn

Get your casual-physics-based-Jengaesque gaming on with this fun game from ngmoco, Inc. That’s right, “Jengaesque” is now a word, because I said so. Topple adds to quite a large range of quality “pickup-and-play” games that are rapidly becoming available on the App store. Read for the full review.

The expressions on the blocks are great!

The expressions on the blocks are great!

Topple is a fun mix between Jenga, Tetris, and those building blocks you played with as a kid. That said, it’s definitely an original experience for the iPhone. The goal of the game is incredible simple: build blocks of various shapes on top of each other until you reach the goal height for the level. Once you reach this height, keep building to see if you can reach the bonus height. All this is done within a time limit so, no pressure. The game is over if you let more than 4 blocks fall off the screen.

This is all done via touch controls, which are extremely easy to use. You touch a block to drag it. To rotate, keep your first finger on the block, and use a second finger to turn your block around. This works extremely well, and it’s generally very easy to quickly position the blocks how you want. Also, the next block usually waits to drop until you’ve set down the previous one, which is nice.

The physics in Topple are very realistic. You’ll find it quite easy at first to balance out your tower. You can even tilt the iPhone to lean the tower one way or another. However, as the levels progress, more and more difficult shapes start showing up. Little round pieces suck, and don’t even get me started on wedges! Also, as if that wasn’t tough enough, the base block starts changing as well. Try building a tower on a rounded base! Yikes!

Golden eggs give you bonus points if you can keep them from falling!

Golden eggs give you bonus points if you can keep them from falling!

There are 9 official levels in the game, and a free play level, which is basically for practice. It could actually take you quite some time to get past the last 3 levels, which are quite difficult. To keep you coming back, Topple has a nice set of achievements, including those for getting bonuses, and beating time challenges on all the levels. Unfortunately, you can’t click on the achievements to see how to get them, and the majority of them are hidden.

The presentation of Topple is awesome. Very well drawn backgrounds resemble something that would be seen in a series on cartoon network. The facial expressions on the falling blocks are hilarious, and change based on what’s going on. The music is light-hearted, and reminds me of something on would hear while walking around Disneyland.

Presentation & Graphics:


Great graphics, fun animation, and some really well-drawn backgrounds.

Sound:


Sounds effects work well. Music is awesome!

Yellow is apparently annoyed that blue is so pleased with himself...

Yellow is apparently annoyed that blue is so pleased with himself...

Gameplay:


Extremely easy controls, and a lot of fun to play! Later levels are very challenging, and free play is great if you want to casually test your architectural skills. Game pauses if you get a call, or you accidentally hit the power button.

Game life:


9 levels, with the last 3 proving a great challenge. Free play mode. Achievements to keep you coming back. This game is a steal for $.99! Would have liked to see another mode or two though (time attack?), and at least a local score board. (Online would have been preferred.) No height or score in free play mode, which is strange.

Final Word:

Topple is a must-have unique puzzle experience for your iPhone. It does everything right as far as iPhone games go. Simple touch controls, great graphics and sound, auto-pause for calls, and the ability to pickup and play in short increments. It won’t keep you occupied for a long trip, but if you want a great game that’s made to be played on the go, grab this one!

NOTE: Score changed due to recent updates in our review process.

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