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iPhone Game Review: Call of Atlantis
      #37197 - 05/26/10 10:30 AM

iPhone Game Review: Call of Atlantis
Reviewed by JadeDragon

There is something that's very luring about match-3 games. I mean, we should all just be happy playing Bejeweled until the end of our game playing days. But we are always drawn to the next shiny and pretty thing that resembles Bejeweled. Call of Atlantis fits right in with shiny graphics and a complete storyline. Like many match-3 games, Call of Atlantis roots in online casual games. If you've played Cradle of Rome, Call of Atlantis is just a prettier but shorter match-3 game.

Gameplay

Like its online version, Call of Atlantis has an attractive story: the ancient god Poseidon created the island of Atlantis and brought all the happiness and joy to its people. But over time, people forgot about their god and neglect the duty of warship at his altar. This angered Poseidon who tore apart the crystals on the altar that power the island. You must travel around ancient lands of Rome, Greece, Troy, Phoenicia, Babylon, Egypt and Carthage to acquire these crystals to restore the Altar of Poseidon. The journey takes you to 54 levels of match-3 games and 7 mini-games.



A game that has 54 levels should feel very expansive, but for those who are in a hurry, these levels can go very fast. Since you are searching for the items to complete pictures that bring back the crystals, each level has pieces of the items embedded in the match-3 slots. You must make these pieces fall to the bottom of the board in order to collect them. Once you?ve found all the pieces (usually 4 pieces for the level), then you?ve completed the level. The board is also smaller compared to the ones in Cradle of Rome especially the later levels. Each level has a timer, and a veteran match-3 player should have no trouble beating the clock in most levels.

The obstacle of the game mainly comes from game boards that have brick blocks in the middle where nothing can go through. You must slide the pieces you need to move to the bottom with others to where no bricks are blocking the path. Other challenges include locked tiles or double locked tiles and frozen and double frozen tiles. With these titles, you will need to match them a few times to break. Luckily there are some power-ups to help you do the job. The power-up collection isn?t huge but they are effective. They include bombs that can take out a group of tiles nearby, a lightening power-up that takes out all tiles with the same icon, a switch power-up that can switch two neighboring tiles? positions as long as one of them will match 3 or a group of the same tiles, and finally a timer that can give you more time when you are running out of it to complete a level.

The mini-game is quite easy: after you?ve collected all the items the game gives you an opportunity to return these items to their rightful places in a mini game. The item matching is logical, for example, match a heart arrow to the cupid?s bow, and the game gives you endless chances to keep trying until you?ve made the right choices.



Graphics & Sound

One thing that Call of Atlantis has that stands above many match-3 games is the graphics. It?s not easy to make match-3 games look good since the tiles are small, but Call of Atlantis has done a great job with sharp visuals and crisp animation. All tiles have a 3D look: when you spin the tiles around you see the back of a shield & sword, or the flower opens, or the backside of the coin, etc. Someone must have also hand-picked the best picture for each location as the scenes are beautiful like a vacation brochure. The game supports accelerometer; and both portrait and landscape modes work very well.

The sound track is delightful and provides nice companionship to the delightful graphics. The sound FX is minimal but fits the game well and the story is told by a calming voice.

Conclusion

Call of Atlantis feels like a younger cousin to Cradle of Rome that has more massive levels and game boards. The game?s graphics are very eye-catching and the gameplay is very fluid. Levels aren?t very long which satisfies gamers with an appetite for quick actions. The tricks are fairly easy to beat with plenty of power-ups offered in the game. For the very hardcore match-3 veterans who crave long and grinding games, this title might feel a little light. But for most casual gamers, Call of Atlantis is a delight title that?s easy pick up and play.



Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful graphics, period.
Sound: - 4 - Music track sounds nice but sound FX is minimal.
Controls: - 5 - Touch control works very smoothly.
Gameplay: - 4.5 - Gameplay is fluid, easy to play and interesting. Might be a bit too light for veteran Match-3 players.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Save your power-ups for the board that have brick walls.

- Make sure you collect all power-ups before finishing a level.

App Facts:

Developer: Playrix Entertainment
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Price: $0.99
Buy App: Call of Atlantis


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