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Carlosz
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Reged: 07/28/09
Posts: 71
iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match
      #33923 - 08/07/09 06:45 PM

iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match

This game is one of those great for a pick up and play, for a quick session not only because it is simple to play but also due the fact that it loads fast. In addition, the game can properly resume.

However its initial screen is not as clear as it could be. The goal is to provide an instant help but I am not sure that is the way to go. I would rather see a common initial screen with a Help button and so on. Help itself and buttons are integrated here. Finally, the initial screen help is not enough to fully understand the game.

Anyway, you can disable the mentioned help screen.

Gameplay

It is a match-3 alike game where you have to move or a column or a row in order to match fruits of the same type. The game control works flawlessly.

One of the interesting approaches here is the fact that each fruit scores differently so you always trying to match those that make you earn more points (of course). That removes the matching randomness common is such kind of games. Considering this important detail it would be nice if the game provides an instant view of fruit values, like tapping in the game caption could bring a screen with such information. Right now you have to browse the Help in order to find it.



In addition, if your next move will match fruits of the same type of your previous move then you will score more too. This approach also brakes the randomness and force you to play strategically or just carefully.

Usually games such as this makes a columns fall when a match is done. Here, however, new fruits only pop up. One may want the column dropping but I would say that this different gameplay is refreshing and creates out of the blue situations. It is good. Give it a chance.

Along the levels empty spaces appears making the game harder. In addition, new kind of fruits make matching a bit harder too.

There are two bonus tiles that can be triggered when in the middle of fruits of the same type (another unique approach by the way). The Butterfly bonus multiplies the match score and the Wasp clears the lines crossing it. But note that 3 wasps (like in a match) mean game over! So remove them as soon as you can.

You can play the game stressless (the default mode) or timed. I specially like to see puzzle games where the difficulty is increased by other factor rather than just speed or time.

Finally, the game supports online high score. However, it requires a Facebook account. I know it will be a problem for some gamers. Such required integration is not a good approach. Anyway, it works very well and you can submit your high score whenever you want rather than through an automatic process.





Graphics

As you can see in the screenshots above the art style is simple but well done.

The fruit choice, rather than just colors, is something all colorblind gamers appreciate.

Score points and combos are clearly displayed which also helps to understand the scoring rules.

The empty space looked like a bug the first time I saw them. I am not sure what but an image could be used instead.

When a Wasp is used in a match there is an explosion sound but no visual feedback. It is strange. Something could be done to make it more appealing.

The interface itself matches the game although some improvements would be very welcomed like the initial screen.


Sound

Most of the sounds are subtle. The explosion one (that can be disabled separately) seems out of place. Maybe a blender one would fit better here.

Fortunately the game supports iPOD music along with game sounds. Very nice!


Pros

- good graphics
- subtle sounds
- perfect controls
- it can properly resume
- two modes including a relaxed one (no timer)
- iPOD music along with game sounds
- detailed Help

Cons

- online high score requires Facebook account
- the initial screen Help does not provide all information needed to properly play the game


Conclusion

This is a simple but a good game. There are enough new approaches to make you want to play it more. The price is a bit high considering the App Store nuances but keep an eye on this game. By the way, visit game developer site to see a Video.

Finally, the game developer has told MobileTechReview that landscape support is coming next month.


Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: -4- simple but well designed
Sound: -3.5- subtle but the explosion is out of the context
Controls: -5- perfect
Gameplay: -4- new approaches make it captivating


Playing Hints and Tips:

- Read the Help to fully understand the game
- Remove Wasps as soon as possible


Game Facts:
Developer: Happymaking Games
Release Date: Aug 05, 2009
Genre: Puzzle, Match-3
Price: $3.99
Buy Game: iTunes App Store

Edited by Carlosz (08/07/09 09:02 PM)


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Jeroen
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Reged: 08/09/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Carlosz]
      #33942 - 08/09/09 02:51 AM

Thanks for the review Carlosz!

We'll remove the Facebook requirement for the high score submissions, it's too complex so needs to go. :-)
Your suggestion for the instant view of fruit values is a good one and we'll put that in if you don't mind! Helpful messages are also planned to appear "from time to time" just to highlight certain features or combinations...

Have fun!

Jeroen


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Carlosz
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Reged: 07/28/09
Posts: 71
Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Jeroen]
      #33945 - 08/09/09 04:23 PM

Great news Jeroen!

One thing I like this game is the fact that we can sit and play and try a higher score to compete online. I like this kind of puzzle that is simple to play but requires some strategy to master.


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Jeroen
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Reged: 08/09/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Carlosz]
      #34310 - 08/30/09 03:09 PM

Hello Carlosz!

We have submitted a new version of Fruity Match to the App Store, it's currently under review.

This new version includes:
  • Landscape play (left or right handed);
  • A much improved introduction help screen;
  • A fruit values score card shows when you tap the score;
  • And a configurable level change (levels change gradually like in current version OR in settings you can choose to have the level changes to be sudden: all fruits on the screen are replaced by new ones at the new level).




Currently Facebook is still required to register for a high score nickname but the requirement to login each time to just upload a high score has been removed, that was just plain silly .
We are still working on adding non-Facebook accounts to Fruity Match, we just need some more database testing and a couple of UI changes before this can go live.

Have lots of fun,

Jeroen


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Reged: 06/26/02
Posts: 12766
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Jeroen]
      #34311 - 08/30/09 04:42 PM

Really like that landscape mode! Good going!

How about adding Twitter account?


---------------
MTR iPhone Game Reviews


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Jeroen
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Reged: 08/09/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #34314 - 08/31/09 01:24 AM

Thanks, yep Twitter is coming as well as is "tweet your score". What is in the works is basically a way to use one of a small variety of accounts (Facebook, Twitter, maybe even MySpace and an account "local" to Fruity Match) to register for a high score nickname.

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Fruity Match [Re: Jeroen]
      #34315 - 08/31/09 02:50 AM

Awesome! Can't wait!

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