Updated: Piyo Blocks 2 HD iPad Review

Ever since our review, we’ve kept coming back to Piyo Blocks 2. With the latest update, offering up a new game mode, time attack enhancements, and a new skin, Big Pixel Studios has ensured that it’ll stay that way for some time to come.

The big addition is the brand-new Disco mode. The parameters are quite simple: You have two minute to get the highest score possible. The catch is that the neon piyos will change colors, thereby changing up the entire board. This can be a little disorienting at first but eventually you will get into the groove.

One odd omission prior to this update was that the time attack options from multiplayer were not included in single player. Now they are– in fact, they’ve added one- and two-minute time attacks, too, so you have a choice. Both of these, including Disco mode, have their own leaderboards.

Big Pixel Studios also added a new Fruit and Jewels skin that can be chosen at the start of every game (except Disco mode since it uses special piyos). Also, for expert players with unimaginably high scores, the maximum score cap has raised to 999,999,999. If you manage to get that, you are a god among gamers.

Simply put, Piyo Blocks 2 is now a near-flawless Match-3 title that tops the vast majority of its competition. With the amount of post-launch support the developers are putting into this title, we can’t wait to see what comes next.

We first saw Piyo Blocks 2 HD back at the iPad launch in April. However, we overlooked it due to the flood of games that came out at the time. That was a mistake. After playing the superb Piyo Blocks 2 that was released a few months later, we went back into our stash, pulled out this gem, and found that it utilized the large screen in ways that made it worth purchasing even if you already own the other version.

All four single player modes from Piyo Blocks 2 (Piyo, Hyaku, Time Attack, and Three Seconds) are available in this version of the game and are fundamentally unchanged. However, Big Pixel Studios created a huge grid to fit the iPad’s display, meaning you’ll have tons of possible matches. Since you can’t lose from running out of matches, this makes the game even more fun.

Chiquita banana product placement.

To complement the larger space, the developers added three new matchable items: hamburgers, sushi, and donuts, the last of which was actually in the original Piyo Blocks. More items to match means you’ll still be challenged.

Instead of having multiplayer over Bluetooth and local Wi-Fi, Piyo Blocks 2 HD pits players against one another on the same device. Depending on where each player is sitting, you can rotate their half of the screen. The grid size for this mode is between that of single-player on the iPad and iPhone versions, but it doesn’t include the three new food items. Just like multiplayer on the iPhone, the combo meter mechanic and four levels of attacks remain unchanged.

Since Chillingo published this version of Piyo Blocks 2, it has Crystal instead of OpenFeint. There are still challenges against friends, however. Some minor differences here include a challenge point system, where you start with 1000 points and gain or lose points for winning and losing. A special leaderboard shows which players have the most challenge points. Since OpenFeint is more widely used, however, you probably have more friends to challenge in the iPhone version.

Mmm… donuts.

Piyo Blocks 2 HD does suffer from the same two oversights found in the iPhone version: lack of the time attack options found in challenges for single player, and a poor hint system, which is even more frustrating on the larger screen. Both of these should be simple fixes, but even without them, Piyo Blocks 2 HD is still great.

It really feels like Big Pixel Studios put a lot of effort into making experiences that felt natural on both the iPhone and iPad instead of just directly porting between the two. We had a blast with them both, and both versions are Must Have Match-3 games in our eyes.

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