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Game Day: Mallow Drops

Any game with Dropbears has to be good, right? Maybe not any game, but it works for Mallow Drops, a title created by Gritfish Games and published by Green Stripe Snake. Mallow Drops debuted on Steam late last year and landed on the App Store earlier this week. Part platformer, part sliding tile puzzle, the real key to Mallow Drops’ success is its unique gameplay.

Mallow Drops features two kiwi birds that need to recover their eggs. Navigating the birds’ world works the way you would expect from a sliding puzzle game. Swipe in one direction and your bird flies off in that direction until it lands on an obstacle. Using the barriers, you need to set up a path to collect the eggs and then reach an exit to the next level. As you progress, the game introduces additional obstacles like spikes, the dreaded Dropbears, Dirty Underbears, and Wooly Jumpers.

The trick is that gravity also plays a role in Mallow Drops. There are blocks in your path as you navigate around the world. Rotating your iPhone reorients gravity causing the blocks to fall and open new passages to eggs or crush you if your bird happens to be resting in the wrong spot. Gravity switching brings a whole different dimension of complexity to what would otherwise be a simple sliding puzzle, forcing you to think about your possible moves based on how your iPhone is oriented currently and how your options change if you rotate it. It’s a twist that makes Mallow Drops simultaneously mind-bending and lots of fun.

If you get tired of rotating your phone to reorient gravity, you can switch to onscreen buttons that do the same thing. That takes some of the fun out of Mallow Drops, but it’s an understandable choice on larger devices like the iPad.

There are over 100 levels in Mallow Drops, so there is no shortage of challenges. The artwork and animations are cute, and the cheerful soundtrack fits well with the game’s design. Unfortunately, your progress does not sync between devices, so I suggest picking one iOS device and sticking with it.

There has been no shortage of excellent puzzle games on iOS this year. The physicality of rotating your phone to solve Mallow Drops’ puzzles makes it stand out as another great choice for iOS puzzle fans.

Mallow Drops is available on the App Store.

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