If Tetris and Bejeweled were to meet in a bar and fall in love, what would their babies look like? We like to think they’d be something like Flipstones, a great new puzzle game from PressOk Entertainment.
Flipstones combines Bejeweled’s color-matching gameplay with Tetris’ race to clear an ever-filling game board. Each stage is overlaid with a triangle grid, where triangular stones are gradually dropped and must be moved next to other stones of the same color. This is done by tapping the stone and its destination, or dragging your finger along the path it must take.
Got a pterodactyl for a windshield wiper.
When four stones of the same color combine in a triangle shape, or six in a hexagon shape, they form a single pulsing jewel. You can then tap these jewels and make them explode, making room on the board and giving you quick bonuses based on their color. For example, blue jewels slow down the rate new stones are dropped on the board, while green stones spit acid that eats away other stones.
Each of the game’s 18 levels are broken up into a number of stages, which have their own missions. Some have a simple point goal, like scoring 500 points before the board fills up. Others require you to match a certain number of jewels of a specific color. The goal must be completed before the board fills up completely with stones.
Buy your lady an exploding gem, she’ll love you forever.
Giving each stage a different goal keeps the game interesting. Certain jewels can also be formed in one stage and carried over to the next, allowing players to strategize a bit.
The way the board fills up is Flipstones’ biggest problem. Sometimes when you restart a stage, tons of stones are immediately dropped on you, filling up 90% or more of the board before you can make a move. This makes it impossible to play the stage. When contacted, the developers assured us that this bug would be fixed in a future update.
Flipstones is visually simple, and the music can become rather annoying after a while. The controls are very responsive, though. Since everything is so small, it can be hard to see all the detail of the board and stones on an iPhone or iPod Touch. We think the game looks and plays best upsized on an iPad.
Despite its flaws, Flipstones is a downright addictive game. It’s a lot of fun and has the potential to be really great. If the problem of stages filling up early gets fixed, this game could really shine.