By Brad Russell
won't go wrong picking up this gem of an app. Most iPad games feature a level of
quality and length of play that is quite a bit improved over what you will find
on the iPhone market. Fractal is a game that would feel out of place on any
other platform. The scope is large, the presentation is impressive, and the
gameplay puts a new twist on puzzles.
The key element of a Fractal level is forming blooms clusters, a group of 7
same-colored tiles around each other. You do this by sliding the tiles around
using the edges, which will push more tiles from the point you use. This concept
is hard to understand until you actually pull it off, but you are essentially
pushing new tiles from the empty spaces, which will slide the existing tiles in
that row. It's hard to wrap your head around, and even harder to manage for the
more demanding levels.
You can form blooms in a few different modes. The campaign is a progression
mode which will be no small task to complete. The arcade is a time attack mode
with power-ups. But the game shines brightest in puzzle mode which features a
hefty assortment of mini-challenges. No matter what you are looking for in an
iPad app, this game provides lengthy playing sessions and quick fixes.
The presentation is what sets this game apart. It takes a wink and nudge
toward the music-based rail-shooters like Rez and Child of Eden; while it's not
a music-based game, the music sets up the atmosphere and the sleek graphics
provide the eye candy. This app gets high marks for its menus and even
transitions between levels, which builds upon the over-all appeal.
The puzzle gameplay may not be flawlessly-executed or addictive for all, but
Fractal goes the extra mile in design and execution. Maybe the puzzle concept
here has been done before, maybe sliding tiles isn't the most thrilling thing in
the world, but Fractal is an excellent example of what an app should be: sexy
Final Rating: 92%