With Booooly!, NextApps make a commendable attempt at putting a fresh spin on the match-3 game, a genre which, lets face it, has been pretty much stuck in its ways since 1994’s seminal puzzler Shariki.
So what’s new? Well, for starters, to score maximum points in Booooly! you’re required to match up four same-colored pieces, rather than the traditional three; while generic bubbles, balls, or jewels have been replaced with cute, charismatic, and perpetually animated smiley faces.
Beyond these welcome tweaks though, it’s pretty much business as usual. Which means some fast and furious gaming as Booooly balls plummet from the sky and the player is tasked with quickly exploding matching groups, triggering huge chain-reactions, strategically utilizing power-ups (bombs), contending with obstructions (Bad Boooolies), and, of course, making sure the screen never fills up!
The game’s vibrant graphics look fantastic in motion and are made even more impressive by a physics system that ensures balls behave and react to each other realistically, tumbling and rolling around environments in a wholly convincing manner. Bonus rounds, unlock-able booooly balls, and a huge amount of levels means Booooly! provides a generous serving of gameplay.
While the one player game is hugely addictive and a lot fun, the true star of the show here is the plethora of multiplayer modes. They include favorites like OpenFeint achievements, Twitter and Facebook interactivity and Online Leader Boards. Something for everyone, in other words.
Okay, so it’s not exactly a quantum leap for Match-3 puzzlers, but Booooly! is a blast to play and brings a ton of fun multiplayer features to the table. Well worth a download.
iFanzine Verdict:A cute and colorful match-3 (or 4) puzzler that stands out from the crowd thanks to its charming presentation, a meaty selection of online multiplayer modes and well implemented social integration.