I'm a big fan Ambrosia Software's titles (Multiwinia is still a blast and they have an excellent solitaire game), and now they're expanding the lineup with yet another addictive title for the iPad called HypnoBlocks. I'd bet you it was created for the sole purpose to take advantage of my short attention span and drive to be competitive. Two hours later after much cursing and ranting and raving, I found myself hitting the 2nd spot in the global leader boards on Game Center. So HypnoBlocks, you've succeeded in bringing out the sweaty yet competitive gamer in me. I was hooked!
So what's HypnoBlocks? Well, it's kind of like one of those block falling game where you have to line up three blocks or more to create combos and clear the screen. Instead, blocks fly in from all directions, and are encapsulated within dividers that make it hard to see what exactly you're tapping on. Using you finger you can swoop around the mass of blocks, tapping on similar colors and generating combos as you eliminate cubes off the screen as fast as possible. All while trying to tap on the cluster of cubes, new blocks come into play and shift around, spikes try to ruin combos, and power-ups come into play that can strategically help you advance to the next level before the time runs out.
The game goes likes this: you start with a certain amount of seconds on the clock and you have to get rid of all the blocks in that level. As you dismiss the colorful cubes, you can rack up combos that help you score big at the end of that level. If you screw up by tapping the wrong color cube or by tapping a spike, then the combo is broken and there goes your chances of getting that sought after 500,000+ point bonus. If you're really fast, the extra seconds on the clock will be multiplied by points determined by the Easy, Normal, or Hard difficulty you play on.
So there's a combination of factors to take into consideration. Do you try to take it slow and rack up a bunch of combos (I've gotten a 110x multiplier before), or do you try to beat the clock? I believe the intention is to complete the clock (you can earn points faster in Hard mode), but getting points is also really crucial. The trick is to keep your eyes on everything that's going on — a mis-tap or a block that moves on you can be a painful combo-ender, and failing to execute on combos fast enough can also break multipliers you've worked really hard towards.
When you tap a block, the block pulses and you have to quickly start tapping other blocks of the same color. In first starting the game (and committing to rid of the blocks you have remaining), you have a certain amount of time remaining (indicated by the rings around the blocks) in which you can make a move and still earn a combo. If you wait too long, the combo will be broken and you'll have to start over in order to amass points. To help you out, you'll occasionally get power-ups that will remove all blocks of the same color or remove dividers and transform blocks into a cluster of the same color so you can quickly rack up a greater combo multiplier. Despite the help, later levels (especially after ten) are very challenging. The game ends when you run out of time in a level.
So with a balance between speed and accuracy, HypnoBlocks allows you to amass lots of points quickly. You always feel like you're accruing a lot of points, and with good Game Center integration, you feel like you can compete in the leaderboards. Wether you're trying to beat your own score or are trying to get in the top ten, the combination of quick gameplay + easy to learn mechanics make for an iPad title that's competitive and fun. Gameplay is colorful with lots of neon colors, and gameplay itself is quick to pick up even if you accidentally blow through the tutorial like I did.
HypnoBlocks is on sale for $.99 in the App Store.