Updated: Compression Review

In the recent 1.2 update, Compression has received a new game mode, Blocked, that can be purchased for $0.99 as DLC. This takes the same gameplay from the previous mode while adding two new elements: metal boxes and bomb blocks.

The metal variety shows up with the hollow blocks at the start of the level and acts as an impassable barrier. Bomb blocks randomly show up as single tiles, erasing any type of block, including metal ones, in a one block radius. There are also new achievements and leaderboards for the new mode.

We did have a bit of trouble downloading the DLC due to a problem on Apple’s servers. The developer let us know that it sometimes takes a few seconds for the DLC software pop-up to appear, but it does work.

The new mode is well worth the money and adds a lot to the game. We can wholeheartedly recommend this mind-squashing Match-3 now. We give it a solid, if somewhat squished, 3.

Despite being the most crowded genre on the App Store, developers keep cranking out Match-3 games. However, only the most creative among them can add an original twist to stand out. Little White Bear Studios did this with Compression, but came up short on overall content.

Much like other column-stacking Match-3 games, Compression has you trying to clear groups of like-colored blocks that fall from the sky. While the idea is to play for as long as possible before you run out of space, the screen clears after you remove all the hollow blocks.

What’s new is the wall compression element. After every third drop, one of the three walls moves in one space, crushing the blocks with it. A big part of the strategy is studying which wall is about to move, and setting up combos around this.

It’s like Tetris mixed with the trash compactor from Star Wars.

However, beyond this one gimmick the game never changes. Throughout its entirety, no power-ups or groups greater than two blocks ever appear. The aesthetic never changes, either. We would also like to see other game modes and level selection in the future. Any of these additions would extend the currently low replay value.

On the plus side, Compression really shines in its presentation. From the moving gears on the menu screen to the metallic textures, the simple production values go a long way. Even better is the thumping industrial soundtrack. This is a game you will want to play with the music on.

Caught in a vice.

Just to get a feel for the atmosphere and wall compression element of Compression, we recommend trying out the lite version. However, we don’t feel the amount of content you’ll get justifies a purchase of the full game.

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