Plank has all the makings of a great Match 3 game, but ultimately fails to pull it off.
There are more Match 3 style apps in the App Store than there are bugs in Windows Vista, but Plank has what could have been a great formula to liven up the genre. Instead of being confined to a conventional grid where you must clear existing colors, colored spheres fall from the sky onto a plank of wood set on two hydraulic pistons. You must then tilt the iPhone to tilt the plank, spreading spheres out and matching them up. It all sounds good in theory, but in practice it doesn’t work too well.
The control method is certainly innovative, but in reality, it makes it very frustrating to properly position the spheres, and we often found ourselves losing the game due to it. Worse still, spheres containing red and white striped objects and feathers fall onto your board every so often. These can’t be matched with anything else, so they really throw a wrench in the works.
Plank’s graphics are very good. A lot of detail was put into everything, and the scrolling background really adds a nice touch. The sound is much like the graphics: a lot of work has been put into, right down to the sound of the hydraulics controlling the plank. The only letdown with the sound is the fact that you can’t play your own music during the game.
Nevertheless, we thought $1.99 was a bit steep for this, considering that there are more enjoyable Match 3 games available for less.