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iPad Game Review: Lamp of Aladdin
      #38648 - 09/29/10 05:35 PM

iPad Game Review: Lamp of Aladdin
Reviewed by JadeDragon

Lamp of Aladdin for iPad is a port of Fenomen Games' expansive PC version of Match-3 game. Though there is an element of hidden objects gameplay, Lamp of Aladdin is a solid Match-3 game that's suited for adults and kids alike. You follow the adventure of Aladdin and his trusty pal Genie as they travel through the beautiful landscape in search of a magic fruit to win the hear of princess Boudour. Let the journey begin!

Gameplay

Lamp of Aladdin is indeed expansive with over 70 match-3 levels and several hidden objects games. The hidden objects part of the gameplay is short and sweet; these games serve as checkpoints for the match-3 games. When Aladdin found Genie, he found wealth, fame and he even gets to build his own castle. But one thing he has to earn with hard work is the love of princess Boudour. So with Genie on his side, he embarks on a long journey in search of a magic fruit that few people know where to find. The game cleverly groups levels into quest-like missions. For example, Aladdin needs a ship to travel on the sea, so you play match-3 games where items you need to build the ship with are embedded in the tiles on the board. As you go through the levels, you collect the necessary parts to build the boat. You build something very different in each location, a chariot, a magic gate, a telescope, a castle and more; and each location has more levels than the last.



Different locations also offer different tile designs, and power-ups. There are three power-ups in the game and 7 collectable items. The power-ups include a hammer that can knock out a single tile, a bomb that can take out a group and a twister that can columns of tiles away. The match-3 board in Lamp of Aladdin has a unique layout: the tiles hide a path in which Aladdin must travel through and collect everything along the way. You won?t see the path until the tiles that cover it disappear. This creates an intriguing element of the gameplay: you don?t need to eliminate all tiles on the board, just the ones blocking the path. And tiles aren?t the only thing that block the path, you will also run into walls, chasms, traps and so on. So you will need to gather collectable items to pass these obstacles, for example, the knife cuts the vines blocking your path, the drill cuts through solid walls, the magic carpet (what?s a Aladdin game without a flying carpet, right?) to reach the next board. There are total of 7 collectable items in the game to deal with 7 types of obstacle, and they are introduced to you gradually.

Mixed in with regular levels you will find a bonus level in each location. The regular levels don?t have timers; you finish them when you finish them. But the bonus levels have timers, and you must finish these levels within the limit to earn a trophy. So keep your power-ups for these levels, cause you are going to need them in later locations where levels are getting increasing long and difficulty. All in all though, the game is easy and relaxing to play. And another nice thing about the game is when you finish the game, you can pick up from any checkpoint (the hidden objects levels) to replay that location, no need to go from the beginning if you wish to play the more challenging later levels. Nice! The game also supports Chilling?s Crystal online scoreboard, and you can upload your scores and trophies to your Crystal account.



Graphics & Sound

Lamp of Aladdin has very polished graphics that look almost shiny. You don?t miss much in graphics quality on the iPad compared to the PC version. Characters look carton-ish and very colorful. The match-3 boards look fresh and sharp, and the animations of tiles and actions against obstacles (like knife cutting vines, trees growing to lift you to another board, etc.) are very smooth. The hidden objects scenes are so crisp that you?d wish there were more hidden objects levels.

The music in Lamp of Aladdin has a Middle Eastern flare that you?d expect from a game themed in the story of Aladdin. The music track is extremely relaxing and feels perfect for the match-3 gameplay. Sound bites include the usual gem dropping sound, power-up sounds and more; and they come in crisp quality. There are also voice-overs for the characters in the game. Aladdin?s voice is young and exciting, and someone had a sense of humor in the sound department as they gave Genie a Texas twang.



Conclusion

Lamp of Aladdin is a solid and long match-3 game that has a unique board design and a good number of collectable and power-ups. While it?s not revolutionary, it?s a great title for a match-3 fan and a great family oriented title. Gameplay is easy, visuals are outstanding and music is relaxing. If you are a casual gamer, you can skip the PC version and go straight to the iPad version! Oh, and it?s on sale for $1.99 right now. Don?t wait for the price to go back up.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Sharp and colorful graphics.
Sound: - 5 - Relaxing music with nice sound FX and voice-overs.
Controls: - 5 - Very smooth controls in both kinds of gameplay and no glitches.
Gameplay: - 5 - The gameplay is long with over 70 levels, and it?s easy to replay any previous locations.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Save your bombs for the bonus levels so that you can beat the clock.

- Some hidden objects items are collected sequentially. So concentrate your effort to find the first items, the second, and so on.



App Facts:

Developer: Chillingo
Release Date: Sep 2, 2010
Price: $1.99
Buy App: Lamp of Aladdin


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