iPad Game Review: Sparkle HD Reviewed by Shaun Price
Sparkle HD, developed by 10Tons, is the first Zuma/Luxor type game to get onto the iPad. The gameplay is virtually the same as the iPhone version but the graphics have been enhanced with sharper and more colorful marbles as well as a few additional levels.
The back story for Sparkle is a little vague but it basically is about you saving Crowberry Woods from evil darkness. You can play Sparkle HD in Quest, Challenge or Survival modes. In quest mode you work your way through a forest type map. You are given the choice several times throughout the game on which direction you would like to go. The orb launcher is in a fixed position in the center of the map/stage. The object of the Sparkle HD involves firing orbs from the center towards a snakelike train of incoming multi colored orbs that twist and turn towards the middle hole in the ground. Match three or more of the same color orb to make them disappear. Knocking the orbs off the chain can temporarily stop the chain of marbles from advancing any further.
Challenge mode is where you attempt to complete the levels as fast as you can. There are a total of 11 levels to choose from in challenge mode with four levels of difficulty. Additionally, in survival mode you start as an apprentice and work your rank all the way to master. To move up ranks the game requires you to complete five levels in the previous rank.
Throughout each level you will be rewarded with multiple types of power-ups to help destroy large number of orbs. There is the ?Frost Ray? which destroys several orbs at once; as well as ?Purple Flame? which engulfs orbs in a purple cloud. One other power up is ?Fire Bolt? which will destroy an orb one by one. With the completion of five to six levels you are awarded an Amulet. Each amulet grants you a different power. You can only wear one amulet at a time, so think strategically. Sparkle HD has a total of 15 amulets to obtain throughout the game. One amulet lets you shoot fly twice as fast, another amulet will give you an extra orb slot on the orb slinger.
Sparkle has several achievements that you can also obtain, and these include destroy 100 pushers, play for four hours total, complete 200 levels of Sparkle HD and more. The controls are very simple; just use your finger to point at where you want your orb to go. Then watch them disappear like magic.
Sparkle HD has very detailed, vibrant, and impressive graphics. Going from the iPhone to the iPad makes the game even more enjoyable. The detail of every level is perfect. The orbs looks like you could just reach out and touch them, oh wait you can.
The sound FX for Sparkle HD was very well done. From the explosion of the orbs to the orbs being sucked down into a black abyss. The background music is actually really good for a game like this. I have expected there to be the same repetitive music that usually accompanies these types of games. As it turns out, the quality and execution of the music are quite amazing.
Overall, Sparkle HD is a truly great game. If you liked Zuma, Luxor, or played Sparkle on the iPhone, then you will enjoy this game just as much as I have. Between the Adventure mode, Challenge mode and Survival mode is reason enough to justify its purchase.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Very detailed levels, Great execution of the power-ups. Sound: - 5 - Background music really makes the game come alive, Sound FX are perfect. Controls: - 5 - Very accurate orb shooting, No hesitation or pausing. Gameplay: - 5 - No shortage of gameplay, Worth its value several times over.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- The power ups are immensely useful use them every chance you get.
- Click mushroom in bottom right corner under achievements section.
- Have very quick fingers.
App Facts: Developer: 10Tons Release Date: April 5, 2010 Price: $4.99 Buy App: Sparkle HD