played more Bejeweled clones than I care to count, but occasionally one does
come along that adds enough of a twist to the oft-imitated match-three-gems
gameplay that it stands out from the crowd of clones. Babo Crash is one of those
Babo Crash takes Bejeweled and adds a Madballs twist to it that makes the
gameplay far more frantic than it is in the original mellow gem-matcher. The
basic concept in Babo Crash remains the same as that in Bejeweled; swap adjacent
gems on the game board to create horizontal and vertical matches of three or
more gems of the same color. Match four or more gems, though, and a "Madball
hero" of the same color appears on the board. If a hero is used as part of a
future gem match, then the hero's special power is activated. Each color of hero
has its own unique power - some spit acid to wipe out the gems next to them,
others go rolling across the board crushing gems in the process - but the basic
result is the same; lots of gems eliminated, cascading, chain reaction matches,
and general puzzle pandemonium.
But the twists don't stop there. The next twist is literally a twist in that
you can change the direction of gravity on the game board by rotating the iPhone.
When gems are eliminated, the gems above the gap 'fall' into the space formerly
occupied by the eliminated gems and new gems enter from the top of the screen.
However, you can now control which way is down which gives you more options in
setting up chain reaction cascades. Other twists include the appearance of an
end-of-level bomb on the game board which must be maneuvered into a safe zone
before it explodes, creatures that lock gems into place, and bonus lightning
rounds that increase the score multiplier for short periods of time. All of
these twists make Babo Crash a blast to play, as well as make it a more
challenging game than most Bejeweled clones (and the original itself). Making it
through the game's 21 levels will be a quite challenging and satisfying
accomplishment. And if and when you do, you'll be able to show off your scores
and achievements through the game's support for OpenFeint.
At only 99 cents, this game is an absolute must download unless you
absolutely despise puzzle games or are down to your last dollar. You'll enjoy
the mayhem and never look at Bejeweled in the same way again.
Final Rating: 94%