iPhone Game Review: Aqua Globs
Aqua Globs is one of those infuratingly simple games that are easy to play yet annoyingly challenging that you keep pressing YES when it asks you if you want to play again. It really is hard to put down because you're always sure that you could have done better if only you'd been more alert.
The premise is simple; join like-colored globs together while keeping differently colored globs from touching. Globs are very cute little one-eyed creatures that come in various colors. If you're at all familiar with any type of line drawing game, you can play Aqua Globs.
Once the game has loaded, you'll be presented with an option to mute the music, sound, effects, or all sounds. You can choose to listen to your own music if you want. After that, you will be at the Main Menu. From there you can access Goals which are 12 earnable achievements that must be unlocked, a walkthrough Tutorial that explains exactly how to play the game, and a Stats page showing a number of fun statistics.
The game also has global high scores; however, if you choose to view them, the game will close and will open a web page in Safari. You can manually choose when to upload your scores in case you do not have Internet access at that moment. To upload scores, you must supply a nickname for the high score table and an optional email address.
Aqua Globs is very simple to play. There are currently three kinds of globs you will have to watch out for: orange, blue, and green. Do not allow orange and blue globs to touch one another or you will lose one of three lives each time this occurs. There are also green globs. These are universally friendly and can join with either blue or orange globs with no problem.
All the globs enter the screen from the edges and you will see a little warning marker at the edge showing where and what color the incoming glob will be. Once the screen starts to get crowded with globs, you will really need to pay attention to these warnings. All globs that come onto the screen are small in size. You can only join globs of the same color and size. Join two small globs and they become a big glob. Now you will have to join two more smaller globs of the same color to produce another big glob. Once you have done this, now join the two big globs, and once they meet they will disappear.
Simply draw a line connecting two globs to make them come together; they will meet in the middle of the path drawn. You can also redirect individual globs by touching them and drawing a path in whatever direction you want. Once globs enter the screen they will stay there until you can make them disappear and will bounce off the edges. The only way to clear some screen real-estate is to continue making matches so you can join big globs together so they disappear.
When orange and blue globs get too close together, you will receive a both an auditory and visual warning. A red halo will appear around both globs and there will be a cute alarm noise. Be sure to separate the globs quickly!
The graphics are simple, but amazingly cute and polished. The Main Menu, Stats, and Goals pages all look really nice. The globs exude cuteness in their own one-eyed way. The game is definitely nice to look at while it slowly drives you crazy. When you join two globs together, the path between them changes color to match the globs. This lets you know that the path is good.
The game has lighthearted background music that matches with the cute theme of the game. All the sound effects were really good including the litte "awww" when orange and blue globs collide. You can choose to turn off the music and sound effects separately; although, I do not recommend you turn off the sound effects. They provide a lot of good information during gameplay.
-amazingly simple gameplay
-well designed tutorial
-achievements, local and global scores
-fun, polished graphics, music, and sounds
-game can pause and saves its state/resumes if interrupted
-you must leave the game to view the high score table
-cannot flip the game orientation
Coming in the next update which has already been submitted to Apple:
-Fixed unresponsiveness (or so called ?don?t touch me? bug) of the globs happening after loosing life.
-Fixed choppy performance when the in-game music is enabled.
-Fixed speed-up bug happening after the device locks itself.
-Fixed typo in tutorial.
-Improved performance of the game so now it runs smoother at full 60fps.
For myself, I did not notice any of the performance issues being addressed above. I ran the game on an iPhone 3G running OS 3.0 with a fresh reboot after install.
The developers will also be bringing in new globs and backgrounds to play with and that will certainly add to the replayability and depth of the game.
Aqua Globs is an addictively cute, simple to play game. It has a lot of polish that really shows throughout. I found the gameplay to be quite engaging and fun with just the right amount of challenge to keep you wanting to play "just one more time". I heartily recommend this title as a simple to play, casual game that will keep you entertained.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- simple, but cute graphics
Sound: -4.5- engaging music and nice sound effects
Controls: -4.5- if you can draw a line, you can play this game
Gameplay: -5- fun and addictive
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Watch the edges of the screen for incoming globs! Make sure oppositely colored globs are clear of incoming globs.
-It seems to take a pretty good number of seconds before globs come onto the screen; however, you can draw lines to connect globs already in play to those warning markers saving you valuable time.
Release Date: July 26, 2009
Genre: casual, strategy
Buy Game: iTunes App Store
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