A brand new brain-teaser from Astalavista Games, ColorSWING: Line-up 3D Blocks works hard to differentiate itself from the abundance of match-3 puzzle games already on the App Store. And by dint of wrapping some colorful eye-candy around a refreshingly novel take on the blockbusting, match ’em up mechanic, it most definitely manages to stand out from the crowd. No mean feat when you consider the granddaddy of this type of game, Tetris, is 26 this year – and pensionable by video-game standards. However, a variety of niggling problems stop this new kid on the block from scaling the dizzying heights of its inspirations.
Boasting two markedly different gameplay modes, ColorSWING has obviously been designed from the ground up to appeal to both casual gamers and hardcore puzzle fans alike. For those looking to give the old gray matter a work-out and who are willing to invest some time into getting to grips with the game’s intricacies, I’d recommend first checking out Logic mode. In Logic, the aim of the game is to strip a cylindrical object of layers of blocks by matching up rows of the same colors. The puzzle can be twisted and turned much like a Rubik’s cube whilst you play; each segment of the cylinder spun by dragging a finger along the screen. Once they’re lined up, a tap clears tiles from the board.
While Logic is a laid-back, lengthy affair, the game’s second mode “Dynamic” is more of quickfire, test of your wits type scenario. Here you must race to clear tiles before the cylinder overflows. Unfortunately a lack of speed and general clunkiness saps this arcade-style approach of a much needed sense of urgency and makes it unnecessarily frustrating. While playing, at times it felt as if my taps failed to register, or that there was a noticeable delay before matching blocks would disappear.
All things considered, ColorSWING is a bit of a mixed-bag. Fingers crossed for an update that’ll help unlock the game’s full potential.
iFanzine Verdict: ColorSWING’s potential to be a great pick-up-and-play puzzler is unfortunately let down by clunky controls and a patience-testing lack of intuitiveness. Still worth checking out thanks to its good looks and unique spin on an endlessly rehashed mechanic though.