Stoneloops of Jurassica iPhone App Review.
Giving off the impression of just another match-3 game type, just a copycat, Stoneloops of Jurassica from PlayCreek exceeded our expectations and came out as a smashing piece of art to stand at the fore-front of future such arcade games.
The game play is simple providing you with a really low learning curve. Differently colored stones will slide in from the top of the puzzle screen, going through a looping path, heading towards the end of the path where a dragon head is waiting to devour your stones. If you fail to prevent the stones from reaching, it's game over. Doing this is simple enough in theory. Fire stones from the launcher at the bottom of the screen, aiming to complete a three or more lineup of same colored stones in the path. The more such stones are in the path, the higher you'll score. To fire the launcher, simply slide your finger across the screen sideways and on release, the rock is fired in the direction of the arrow.
At times, destroying those stones will give you power-ups to help you to beat the level. There's really not that much difficulty in the game, but it's just enough to keep you coming back and stay on it until you run out of iPhone battery. Once in a while, you'll also get bonus levels that will have you collect precious gems and power-ups you can use further in the game. Aside from that, throughout the levels there will be power-ups waiting for you to unlock and collect. They really thought of everything, didn't they?!
One rather peculiar, but really interesting point to note with Stoneloops of Jurassica is the reward system. At the end of each of the 75 beautifully designed levels, you can upgrade your house (yes, funny indeed). This is not to sidetrack you from the game, but to provide some really amazing eye-candy for in-between levels. Seriously now, what would you rather see after completing a level? A button saying "Go to next level" or a beautifully rendered house you can upgrade and make it stunning (imagine how that would look at the end of the 75th level, eh)?!
The game features two game modes: normal and grab 'n shoot. Now, how's this for a piece of art? Instead of randomly getting stones to shoot from your launcher, you have to first grab one stone from the loop on the screen and then relaunch it at the loop wherever you want. This has been perhaps the most entertaining game mode I've seen in a match-3 shoot-out game.
It's not everytime the game comes back with big red exclamation marks from the tester saying he literally cannot put this game down. A flawless execution and a big plus for the developers on popping out an awesome game any other future games will have to look up to in order to be successful. Now, not to be misunderstood, the game is not perfect, but clearly perfectible. The game has one difficulty level. The arrows on the screen will always show you where the stone will fire. And this is fine, I guarantee you won't be bored with this. But for those avid gamers such as myself, how about providing with an option to disable that? We'd be provided with another level of play, and perhaps a more exciting look at Stoneloops of Jurassica.
The developers paid a striking attention to details, both graphical, an amazing soundboard, and competitive game levels. The graphics are simply well done and work extremely well with the game style and name. The levels are well-designed, giving a balanced difficulty, and the power-ups won't disrupt that balance. All in all a great addition to any gamer's iPhone and iPod Touch. Stoneloops of Jurassica is available in the App Store at a mere $0.99, and a lite version for free.
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