Blackout! Review

Imagine a world without electricity. Cell phones, computers, and household appliances would all be rendered useless without power. Suffice to say, we wouldn’t be able to play iPhone or iPod Touch games, either. Lucky for all of us, electricity exists and shows no signs of leaving us, and it’s only in Disney’s latest game that we have to deal with a city entirely without electricity.

When we first loaded up Blackout! we couldn’t help but worry that we were playing yet another game in the already crowded Match-3 genre. This fear quickly faded away when the unique gameplay pulled us in and never let go.

Vampires might not enjoy Blackout! as much as others.

In Blackout!, you are tasked with stringing together colored crystals to complete numerous levels, but there’s much more to this game than just gems and strings. Your goal is to light up each level by activating power sources. In the beginning of a level, there is only one main power source. As you connect gems, you’ll drill further into the ground, allowing light to reach more of the screen. Darkness is also working against you, as you must race the expanding darkness to the finish line.

While this basic concept is a lot of fun, we found that the main flaw in Blackout! is stringing together long combos. Considering the large size of the gems and the small size of the playable screen, it becomes difficult to create large combos without connecting the wrong gem and having to restart. Also, it’s tedious to scroll through the large maps, which is made easier with two-finger scrolling, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

Don’t be fooled, this is no Bejeweled.

The main gameplay mode might have been plenty, but there are a few others to choose from as well, like the endless Eternal mode. These modes will likely extend the amount of time you’ll be addicted to stringing together massive combos of gems.

Even with our initial doubts, Blackout! stands out from the pack as a fun adaptation in a crowded genre. Every once in a while a game comes along which is hard to put down, even when you’re up too late. Though your loved ones may complain, give Blackout! a download and surrender to creating light in the darkest hours of the night.

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