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Appletell reviews Popper, Perfect Balance and StoneLoops for iPhone/iPod touch

Sections: iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod touch, Reviews

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Puzzle games have proven to be quite popular on the App Store; there are over 3,000 of them available to date. But with so many of them available, it can be difficult to pick a couple on which to spend your hard earned money. So, here are three titles I’ve been playing over the past couple of weeks that I think are certainly worth a look.

Popper

Popper is quite similar to the classic, Breaker, where you have a ball that has to hit every brick to pass through to the next level. Popper takes the same idea, but adds in some very nice graphics, an accelerometer, and a whole lot of fun.

The graphics are great on popper. The complete design of the game looks polished, from the wood backdrop to the felt-tip style fonts. aCleverTwist’s own description reads “delicious graphics” which I have to agree with. The pops look like jelly beans, and who isn’t a fan of jelly beans?

Popper for iPhone/iPod touch

The physics behind this game are what helps it stand out from the crowd. The accelerometer is put to great use in some levels, either to control the direction the pops will go, or to control the pops’ movement (spinning fast, slowly, etc.) The levels nicely progress in difficulty, giving you enough time to master the techniques, but not so much that you become bored. By level 8, you really begin to feel the pressure. Fast movement and a sensitive accelerometer make for a tricky level.

Popper seems to modernize a classic arcade title. I’ve played many versions of breaker—on mobile phones, consoles and online—but Popper adds more to the game itself. Each level follows the same idea, but in different ways. The way it plays on the iPhone and iPod touch is nice too. There’s enough movement needed to keep you entertained, but not so much that your friends will think you’re crazy, throwing your iPhone or iPod around.

I enjoy playing Popper; it’s great to pick up and play for a couple of levels to keep boredom at bay. The graphics are brilliant, the gameplay is great fun. It’s quite difficult to fault this title.

Appletell Rating: 5/5
Buy Popper

Perfect Balance

At some point, we’ve all tried to make a tower using playing cards, and felt a great sense of achievement when it works. There’s a similar feeling when you complete a level in Perfect Balance. Each time, you’re given a selection of various shapes, with a view to balance them together so there’s no movement. Only then can you move onto the next level.

The graphics are clean and crisp and let you focus on the task at hand. Similar to Popper, the physics are very intuitive, but there’s no use of the accelerometer. This gives you a strange feeling, as you automatically tilt the device to try and balance the shapes on screen. This may be a nice additional feature, but it would make playing the game a lot more difficult in short bursts. If the accelerometer controlled the shape’s balance, playing the game in public would be tricky.

Perfect Balance for iPhone/iPod touch

Since I downloaded Perfect Balance, I’ve been addicted. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve progressed quite a lot, so I want to complete it. While each level is similar, of course, there’s no feeling that you’re repeating yourself. The set up of each level is slightly different, so there’s a whole new way to solve the puzzle. Once you complete the first 20 levels, the next 20 are unlocked. This continues up to around 70 levels, with a couple of bonus unlocks as you progress.

Perfect Balance is a simple title, but it’s certainly fun. It’s another great game to kill a couple of minutes while you’re waiting for your bus, or whereever else you may find a spare moment. Priced at $0.99, it’s certainly worth the purchase. If you’re still unsure, there’s a lite version to try out first.

Appletell Rating: 4/5
Buy Perfect Balance

StoneLoops

StoneLoops is another puzzle game that takes inspiration from the classic, Breaker. But rather than playing in the more traditional format, StoneLoops introduces a new style to the game.

Boldly-colored gems are pushed around a specified path, while you take aim to clear the screen. You need a match of three or more of the same color, as you’d expect. More points are given for longer strings of the same color, and you’re also against the clock to clear the screen before the gems reach the end of the path. You simply tap the gem to fire, and you can drag and let go to change its direction. Unlike Perfect Balance, there is an option to use the accelerometer.

The graphics are similar to Perfect Balance; what we’ve come to expect from games for the iPhone and iPod touch. There’s no lagging or pixelation, and the gems have a certain shine to them.

Stone Loops for iPhone/iPod touch

StoneLoops is a typical puzzle game perfectly suited for the iPhone and iPod touch. With 75 levels to play with, it’s sure you keep you entertained for some time. Although with only the path changing, and the addition of the occasional new color, it can become a little repetitive. But if you’d only be playing it for short bursts at a time, you likely wouldn’t realize. As with the other two titles reviewed here, it’s perfect to kill a few minutes, and certainly worth checking out, at only $0.99.

Appletell Rating: 4/5
Buy StoneLoops
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  • Ajay Gautam

    Poppers is an awesome app. I was playing it on my train ride in. Just the right combination of pick-up-and-play and gray-matter workout. The music is funny, and the app responds well to the accelerometer. Good to see appletell covering some of my fav apps.

    Highly recommended.

  • James Page

    I just love Perfect Balance: Harmony (and Inferno as well)! Both games offer lots of challenge for the brain, and teach you a thing or two about physics. It's fun trying to find alternative solutions to the puzzles. My favourite iPhone games. 😉