Disney Interactive Studio’s BLACKOUT! (iPhone/iPad) Game Review
How do you build a better mousetrap? Or in the case of Bejeweled, how do you build something better when the game and its concepts have been copied by many others before you. Well Sunken Media LLC and Disney Interactive Studios have something to say about that, and a point or two to prove as well, with the release of their latest game, BLACKOUT! for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
I wonder why developers continue to attach some weird storyline to justify the Bejeweled-type mechanics (take a look at Puzzle Quest) and in BLACKOUT!, it’s no different. You are tasked with connecting chains of subterranean crystals to clear a path of liquid energy to light a city in darkness. Weird premise aside, having played the game for the better part of the evening, BLACKOUT! actually comes across as a thinking man’s Bejeweled.
In one of the two game modes available, you’ll need to clear the path from one light source to another by joining a detonator (or more) with 3 or more crystals of the same type. This kind of gameplay mechanic may seem like a small hurdle to cross but couple this with darkness creeping from the edges of the screen, it would take more than just strategy, but also quick thinking to get through a level. Once the darkness overwhelms the light, it’s game over!
Detonating crystals of the same type (there are three type) fills up one of three gauges at the bottom of the screen. When one gauge fills up, a special crystal will appear on the maze. Red ones destroys surrounding crystals while blue crystal randomizes the crystals on the maze. Special green crystal keeps the darkness at bay by resetting the timer.
The sense of urgency increases from level to level as the subterranean maze of crystals become larger and there are multiple light sources to connect. The later levels introduce obstacles such as rocks, which can be blown away by detonating the crystal adjacent to it. There are two other type of gameplay modes available including the quintessential Endless mode, known as the Eternal mode in BLACKOUT!
I recommend BLACKOUT! for any Bejeweled fiend out there looking for a challenge, and for anybody who would love to play a good puzzle game. BLACKOUT! is now out on Apple’s App Store and is sold for USD 2.99. Click here to download the game.
Here’s a pro-tip, check out the rest of Disney Interactive Studios’ catalogue on App Store. It’s home to some of pretty good games such as Breakspin, Alice in Wonderland and Jelly Car 2.Powered by Sidelines
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