Category Archives: Match 3

Pixie Pond Game Review

Pixie Pond

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Pixie Pond Game Shot

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 5 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 8 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis:

Enter the magical realm of the Pixies!  Race against time to make as many matches as you can before the timer comes out.  The more tiles you match, the more water you earn to help you refill the pond.

Review:

This is a match-3 game with a fun twist, but a little lacking in execution.  The game itself is very basic and clean cut.  The main menu contains 3 options: play game, how to play, and exit.  There are no options as there are no sound effects and no music.  If you click on the “how to play” button, it will take you through two screens that show you the basics and then one more screen that shows what your power ups are and how to earn them.  You do not need to click on the “how to play” button if it is your first time, however, as there is a brief tutorial.

You have a very short timer (1 – 9 seconds) on the left hand side of your screen that will show you how much time you have to make matches.  The more matches you make, the more time gets added to the timer.  Simply click on two adjacent tiles (horizontal or vertical) and make matches of 3 tiles or more.  Once you make a match, those tiles will be covered with vines and will be untouchable until the timer runs out.  You can add a single tile to a row or a column of matches, which is a nice touch and adds a bit of extra dimension to this match-3 game.  The goal is to match the whole board and have it all covered with vines, but I was never able to achieve this.  Once you cannot make any more matches, wait for the timer to run out.  After all the time is gone, your bonuses will accrue to fill the water meter on the left hand side of the screen.  Once you fill the meter all the way to the top, you pass the level and can start the next level.

There are 2 different power ups that you can earn as you play.  One of them is a mushroom, which is earned by making matches that form a square, and will cover a row or column with vines if you activate it on the board.  The other is a lightning cloud, which is earned by making matches that cover an entire row or column, and it will throw lighting out in a radial position covering all affected tiles with vines.  These power ups are critical to your success on later levels, where there will be stones on your game grid.  The stones cannot be matched or moved so the only way to get rid of them is to use one of your power ups and wait for the timer to run out.

That is it.  That is what the whole game is.  The game grid will expand or contract as you play, depending on the level, and the stones will come and go.  There are several different icons you will be matching, all of them fantasy-themed (fairies, gnomes, unicorns, etc.).  The larger the game grid, the more icons will be in play.  This is both easier and harder to make matches as the easy levels start you out with 3 different types of icons and you work up to many more than that.  The key to success with this game is to make the biggest chain of vine-covered tiles that you can.  Try to focus on matching all of one type of tile and leave the rest of the tiles unmatched.  Traditional match-3 strategies do not really work in this game as, the more matches you make, the fewer options you have.  Remember that, once you make a match, the tile is covered with vines and is no longer in play until the board refreshes.  The more tiles you match, the more will clear when the timer runs out.  The game will then make automatic matches as tiles drop down until there are no locations on the board with 3 tiles matched together.  Then the timer starts again and you keep playing.

If you are willing to give a match-3 game a try that is a bit different, but also pretty clunky, give this one a try.  There is no way to pause the game so play until you are done and then you will have to exit out.  Again, there are no bells and whistles in this game.  There is no storyline here, no cute little characters to follow along with, noting like that.  The interface is basic and no-frills, but it gets the job done.  The tiles are pretty big on most of the game grids, but they do get smaller as the game board expands to more difficult levels.  Fortunately, the tile icons are unique, have different colors and shapes, and are easy to keep separate and make matches with.  Definitely play the free trial to see if this game is suitable for your tastes before you buy.

Content:

This game is appropriate for all viewers.  There is a little reading involved at the beginning of the game to run through the tutorial and to introduce you to the power ups, but that is it.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Flower Mania Game Review

Flower Mania

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Flower Mania

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 5 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 5 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Make beautiful flowers grow in your small patch of green.  Match three of the same flower to make room for more flowers to grow!  Once you fill up your meter, you win the level and are ready to start a new garden!

Review:

This game was a bit of a disappointment for me.  It was a little different and its uniqueness set the game apart from most of the other match-3 games out there, but it was not enough to overcome the cumbersome game interface and constant repetition.  I mean, just about every game like this one has you playing the same type of thing over and over again, but this one felt like I was just playing the same board over and over again.  You play on the same grid the entire game, level after level.  The only thing that changes as you progress is that some flowers will start out on the game board whereas early levels give you a clear playing space.  Additional flowers are added in on the more difficult, advanced levels, but that is about the only change that you see.

You begin the game by playing a tutorial and I cannot stress how important it is to play this tutorial or you will be completely lost.  The game play requires you to use a combination of mouse clicks and keyboard shortcuts.  Each set of flowers comes in blocks of three.  To rotate the flowers in sequence on the block, click your right mouse button.  To rotate the flowers from horizontal to vertical layout, click your left mouse button.  To set a group of flowers on the game grid, place the flowers where you want and then press the space bar.  The tutorial will run you through your paces and make you prove that you know how to play before you can move on.  I had a really difficult time adjusting to the controls of this game and did not like the keyboard/mouse interface.  I would much rather have played it all on my keyboard as there are not enough buttons on the mouse to manipulate the flowers in the way that you need to win the game.  I knew I was in trouble when I had a difficult time just getting through the tutorial!  You have to click the “c” button to continue from screen to screen and I was trying to use mouse clicks.  You really need to read the instructions carefully throughout the game or you are toast!  The instructions are a bit stilted and can be difficult to understand, but you can push through it.  If an adult reads through the information first, a young child could play the easy levels.

That is it – that is all there is to the game!  You have a timer in the lower right hand corner and a bar that you need to fill with matches to beat your current level and move on to the next level.  You can see the current set of flowers and, if you look on the right hand side of the screen, you can see what the next flower tile looks like.  This can help you plan your strategy as your garden grid fills up and it becomes more difficult to make matches.  There are also power ups that will come your way as you progress through the game.  There is a flower bouquet that can be used to complete any match of 3 tiles, pesticide which will kill the flowers next to it, and bombs that will clear areas.  This game was not my particular cup of tea as I found it clunky and cumbersome, but I had to give them points for trying to make something different in a fairly standardized format.  Make sure you pay the free trial before you purchase this game so that you know what you are getting into and you will be fine.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  Young children should have no problem playing this game as the rules are not difficult to follow, but they will need someone to help them understand the controls.  The instructions are clearly written in another language and then translated so the word choice is a bit unusual, but you can figure it out if you keep plowing along.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Glimmer Game Review

Glimmer

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Glimmer

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

A fantasy kingdom has kept the peace between dragons and people for decades.  The people harvest the glimmer stones and give them to the dragons so the dragons do not attack.  However, Melborn the dragon has grown greedy as he grows older.  He wants a larger quantity of glimmer stones every year and the people cannot provide enough to keep Melborn happy.  The dragon takes his revenge by swooping down out of the skies and plucking people out of the fields.  Mryna and Khar are childhood sweethearts.  When one of them is stolen by the dragon, the other is determined to journey across the land to save them and uncover some secrets about the kingdom along the way.

Review:

To begin the game, you will choose Myrna or Khar as your character.  I selected Myrna so I was looking for Khar, who was kidnapped by the dragon.  To travel and rescue Khar, you need to gather resources and fight monsters as you traverse across the kingdom.  You begin by harvesting crops in the fields so you have food to help you on your journey.  You will also harvest glimmer stones to appease the dragon when you encounter him.  Other levels will have you battling monsters, finding your way through dense forests, and more.  After you beat each level, there will be a screen of dialogue that keeps the story continuing.  You will uncover secrets about the kingdom and the true story of the relationship between people and the dragons.

This is a unique match-3 game.  Instead of clicking on tiles to swap individual icons, you will slide entire rows or columns to make chains of 3 or more.  Each level has a different layout of tiles and a different number of slide arrows on the board.  For example, the first level has arrows next to each row and column.  This means that you can move any row or column and easily make matches.  The next level has an arrow on every other column and every row.  This means you have to be a bit more creative to make matches.  The longer you play, the more challenging the matches become.  Some have arrows that swap columns or rows instead of sliding them one spot.  Others have a circular cog in the middle that will rotate the tiles around it into different positions.  The different tile layouts and movement arrows keep each level fresh and interesting.

To beat the level, you will need to achieve a specific goal.  Each goal involves you moving a person along the bottom of your screen.  The first guy is a farmer and you need to match scythes so that you can finish harvesting the wheat.  Glimmer levels require you to match pick axes so that you can dig out the glimmer stones from the cave walls.  Of course, there are many different icons on the game board so you will matching many other items as well.  While you are progressing, you can match hearts, which increase your health levels, wheat or glimmer stones, which increase your inventory or the action tiles that help you beat the level.  Monster levels are a bit different as they are battle rounds.  You will need to match green tiles to help your character slay the monster. Bows and arrows will have you fire on the monster, while the other green tiles will restock your arrow cache.  If you match red tiles, the monster will advance (feet) or fire arrows at you (hands).  You need to kill the monster(s) before they reach you or run you out of health.  These levels can be tricky as it is difficult to match only green tiles without accidentally matching red tiles.  Fortunately, the monsters move pretty slowly and do not take a lot of shots to kill for the beginning rounds, but they do get harder and more frequent as you travel closer to the dragon’s lair.  The monsters include ogres, which only move when you make a foot match and attack singly, and goblins, which move towards you at a steady pace and will attack you in multiple numbers.  There is no timer on any of these levels so you can take as long as you need to pass them.  It is good to keep a steady flow of matches coming through, however, as you can fill a bonus bar on your left-hand side of the screen, which will give you a board blitz when you fill it to help you beat the level faster.

I had a fun time playing this game and found that it kept my attention longer than most match-3 games out there.  The graphics are pretty clunky and the game doesn’t have a fabulous interface, but it is workable and fits the fantasy theme.  I enjoyed the story line and had a fun time uncovering the mysteries of the kingdom as my character read messages off of the temple walls.  The story was a bit cryptic and I am not convinced that it was written in English.  I believe it was translated from another language so it is a bit difficult to understand at times, but it was not too bad.  If you are looking for a match-3 game that is a bit more challenging and unique or you enjoy fantasy-style games, give this one a try as I think you will enjoy it.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is quite a bit of reading involved if you want to try and follow the storyline.  The type font is not very eye-friendly and can take a bit of deciphering.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Charm Tale 2: Mermaid Lagoon Game Review

Charm Tale 2: Mermaid Lagoon

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Charm Tale #2
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 5 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis:

Dorothy is still trying to discover her heritage.  She finished investigating the plane wreck and now she is headed underwater to learn more about how her parents met and fell in love.  Dorothy, with your help, soon discovers that her mother was one of the merpeople, but her father could not live comfortably underwater so they left together.  Determined to uncover all of the details, Dorothy must play games with each of the merpeople she meets to continue to learn her parents’ story.  Journey with Dorothy as she begins under the sea and slowly progresses back onto the land in search for her parents.  Perhaps you will uncover the clues that will lead you to save them – and yourself!

Review:

I confess that I was disappointed with this game.  It was barely average, which surprised me as it is a sequel.   I always assume that a game must be pretty good to be part of a series.  I figure that, if the game is poor, only one will be made because they did not sell enough copies.  Obviously, I was wrong.  This game could have been cute and fun, but the story was so poorly translated that it really brought the game quality down for me.  Most of the story is incomprehensible and you have to focus on keywords to try and figure out what they are talking about.  It is true that you can completely ignore the story, but the game developers clearly spent a great deal of time coming up with this story and the prophecy so I felt like it was integral to the game itself.  What a disappointment in that respect!

The graphics are bright, colorful and fantastical.  They did a wonderful job creating fantasy creatures under the sea and I really enjoyed the look of the game.  That is probably the only thing that I will tell you that I liked about the game.  The game interface itself was okay.  It was not great, but I was able to get the cursor to work with minimal problems and did not have any difficulty making matches.  This is a chain match game, which means you click on one gem and then drag your mouse cursor over other gems of the same color.  The longer the chain, the more money your match is worth.  You can get money bonuses, as well as help icons on the game board if you make matches of 5 or more.  Some of the help icons include wild card gems, which can be used to make chains of any color, link gems, which can link together two gems of different colors to make a really long chain, giant gems, which take up a lot of space on the game board, but give you BIG bonus points, etc.  These are pretty easy to get as there are large chunks of the game board that are the same color and you can create chains going up, down, side to side or diagonally.  Make sure that you do not release your mouse button before you are ready, however, as it makes your chain much shorter!   Each game board is different and most of them are roughly the shape and size of the creature you are talking to (octopus, mermaid, crab, etc.).  I appreciated the variety in look, but they all quickly felt the same to me.

There are a lot of power ups you can purchase to help you even further.  There is a shop where you can use the shells you have earned to purchase bombs, color changers, etc.  I purchased the upgrades, but found that I did not need to use them as there were plenty of power ups available on the game board itself.  Still, I guess they could be helpful if you were in a tight spot.  You are timed so you need to make matches relatively quickly, but I felt like you had ample time to complete the game boards.  I did find that I ran out of time to get the treasure chests, however, which was a bit frustrating.  When you make a really good move, you will earn a treasure chest on the board.  You only get the bonus inside when the treasure chest makes it to the bottom of the screen so I missed a lot of these.  I was never quite sure when a game board was over as you need to link a certain number of gems in a chain in sum total to pass the board and go to the next one.  I would be in the middle of playing and I was suddenly done.  I guess I should have paid more attention to what was happening around the game board, but you are just kind of thrown in and start making matches as quickly as possible so I never really noticed what was going on.  It would have been nice if they introduced the game features, but they did not give you any introduction at all.  I did not play the first Charm Tale game so I really did not know what I was getting myself in for.  I did not even know that this was a chain match-3 game and not a traditional one so I wasted some time on the first game board trying to figure out what to do.  Still, it is not like it is that difficult to figure out so I am not really complaining, I am just letting you know that instructions are not included.

This game was just barely average for me.  There are so many match-3 games out there that I feel you can completely skip over this one and not even know that you missed anything.  The graphics were the best part, but the story and actual game play were a bit blah.  There are some mini-games in between the match-3 where they have you searching for hidden objects, but I felt like they were more of an insult than an asset.  First of all, just to make me really mad, the music always played during the mini games – even though I had the music turned off!  Secondly, they have you placing objects to light things underwater, but it was very difficult to see what you were doing.  Thirdly, most of them were so easy that it felt like there was really no point.  Even if you did get stuck, there is a rechargeable hint that makes it very easy to get the aid you need to pass it.  This is not a good beginner match-3 game as there are no instructions and this is not a good advanced match-3 game as it is way too easy.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is some reading to figure out what the power ups do and if you want to try and follow the story line.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Jewel Keepers: Easter Island Game Review

Jewel Keepers: Easter Island

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 5 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 1 – 6 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating:2/5 stars

Synopsis:

Something sinister is happening on Easter Island!  Professor H, his assistant, Joel, and his granddaughter, Ivie, rush to the island to see what is happening.  When they arrive, they will have to use all of their skills to play games and puzzles to put together the ancient artifacts that will keep the Island safe.  Each level that you pass will give you another, small piece of the artifact.  Simply move icons on the game board so that they form a row or a column of 3 or more to change the color of the square underneath the icon to gold.  Once all of the squares are gold, you pass the level and gain another piece!  When you have collected all of the pieces of the artifact, you win!

Review:

I liked the idea of this game a lot more than the execution of the game.  Let me start with the positive.  The creators of the game had a good idea to spice up the game board.  The board remains the same for every level that you play, but there are a series of wooden blocks that show up on different areas of the board.  These blocks will keep tiles from dropping underneath them and you cannot move tiles over them.  You need to make matches with all of the useable tiles until you turn all of the available tiles to gold.  When you have completed this, the wooden blocks will fall away and then you need to make matches over those squares until the tiles turn to gold.  This is not as difficult as it sounds because you can move tiles into the empty spaces.  Simply drag a tile next to an empty space and it will drop to the bottom of that column.  You also can move tiles up into an empty space to make a match of 3.  As you progress through the levels, you will encounter blocks of different colors and they each interact with the game board differently.  The next block you encounter is a flat, black block.  This block does not ever go away and is just a blank void the entire level.

There are a lot of power ups available on this game to help the play speed along.  If you make matches of 5 or more, you can earn bombs, arrows, and special wild-card tiles.  The bombs have a timer on them so they go off when the timer runs out.  The only way you can move the bomb around the board is by making matches around them to cause it to drop to where you want it to go.  I did not find the bombs to be particularly useful as they only made very small explosions, but they popped up very frequently so I guess they were kind of useful.  The arrows can come up in a horizontal or vertical format.  Simply click on the arrow and it will turn the whole row or column to gold so that you don’t have to make matches on it.  The exception to this is tiles that lay underneath wooden blocks.  These will not change to gold and you will still need to make a match over them.  The wild-card tiles flash through every different color/symbol of tile very rapidly.  You cannot really see what tile you are selecting, but you click on the tile at any time and it will remove every tile of that particular type from the game board.  I found this power up to be very handy, but you have no control over which tiles are removed so it is truly a wild card.

They had a nice layout to the board with bright, cheerful colors.  Each of the tiles has a very clear, easily identifiable format.  They all have a different shape and a different color and they are not at all similar.  This was a nice change as it seems like there are usually two tiles that are similar that cause confusions in match-3 games, but not in this one!  There is a brief little story line that accompanies the game play, but I did not find it to be anything particularly interesting or intriguing.  You can click through it rapidly and get the gist if you like.  Also, this game is not what you would call timed, but you do have to play in a timely fashion.  There is a bar at the bottom of the game board that starts out full and then slowly empties as you play.  You can keep it full by continuing to make matches on the board.  Any time you make a match, the timer bar will get a boost and will fill back up a bit.  This makes it pretty easy to have all the time in the world to finish a game board.  All you have to do is continue to make matches the entire time and you will never have to worry about losing a level.  The only way that I lost a level and had to restart it in this game is when I ran out of matches.  If you run out of matches on the game board, a narrator will come up and tell you that and automatically start your game over.  This is frustrating, but not a deal breaker.  Anyway, keep making matches no matter if they are turning tiles to gold or not and you will be fine.

Despite all of the good qualities this game had, I simply could not give it more than an below average score due to the difficulty in game play.  I found the cursor to be less than responsive and I did not like the way it worked.  The cursor is very large.  It is almost the size of one of the tiles you are clicking on so it can be difficult to click on the tile you want to select.  Once you click on the tile, a gold cross will pop up that will highlight the tiles you can move the tile with.  Why on earth they felt the need to show the player that the tile can be swapped up, down, right or left is beyond me.  It is not like there is a special diagonal feature to the game or anything.  Anyway, this gold pop up would have been fine if it did not slow down the game play for me.  Unfortunately, it did.  I like to click on a tile and then slide it into place, but I could not do that in this game.  You must click a tile and then click on the tile you want to swap it with.  I found that I struggled to get the game to do this on a constant basis.  I would click on the tile that I wanted to swap and then click on adjacent tile, only to find that the cursor had selected the second tile as the active tile and that I had to click back and then click again.  This got old really fast.  There are a lot of match-3 games out there and this one did not compare favorably with the easy of game play in other games.

My main complaint was the game play, but there were some other irksome details that detracted from my enjoyment of the game.  One of the first things that I recommend that you do when you begin is to change the options to no sound and no music.  I usually leave the sound on, but this game just drove me crazy!  Every time you move your cursor over a tile – not click on a tile, just move the cursor over a tile – the game makes a little chiming noise.  There are also bubble noises and other weird sounds that come up while you are playing.  I did not think that the sound effects suited the game at all and had to go and turn it off.  This presented a challenge in and of itself because the menu options are difficult to find!  On the very first screen of the game, there are a series of 5 boxes to the left of the screen.  Only the top box is highlighted and the rest are muted and look like they cannot be clicked on, but each box allows you a different option.  The one at the top starts the game.  The one at the bottom ends the game.  The one that is second from the bottom is the options menu and you can turn off the sound and music there.  The other boxes can be used to set up new games, save them, etc.

If this game had a smoother interface that enabled a quicker, more accurate gaming experience, I would have given it a higher rating.  I liked the layout, the colors and the quick start to the game, but I could not enjoy playing it for very long.  The weird thing is that they designed it in a way that made it difficult to stop playing.  When you finish a level, the next level automatically begins.  There is no break between the game play.  When you finish level 1, a person comes out to congratulate you, the piece you won fills in the medallion and then next level begins.  I would have liked a start button or something like that do that I could control when the next level began, but there is nothing like that here.  When you are done playing, you need to click on the main menu button and leave the game that way.  This game might be a good game for young children to play as there is little direction and the game does show you which way you can move tiles.  I don’t think that anyone would find the gold cross helpful, but little kids or older, less-computer savvy players might.  I had high hopes for this game, but I was disappointed.  Make sure that you play the free hour so that you know for sure if this game is the one for you.  There are a lot of match-3 games out there and I feel like there are many better ones so, if you are only going to buy one, I recommend purchasing a different one.  If you buy a lot of these, perhaps there is something in this one for you.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is some reading involved if you want to follow the storyline and the basic tutorials, but it is not really necessary.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Bird’s Town Game Review

Bird’s Town

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 5 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Marble Popper, Match 3
My Rating:3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

The cats have come up with an ingenious plan to capture all the birds in the area.  They created a hypnotizing machine that will have the birds marching to their doom!  You must save the birds by firing individual birds from a catapult to match 3 or more birds of the same color.  Once the birds are matched in a chain, they will shake off the effects of the machine and fly away to freedom!  Some birds will drop gems or coins that you can catch with your catapult to boost your total score and earnings for the round.  Use the gems, coins and the total number of birds of each color to create a safe haven for the birds on an island of their own.  Then you can build machines to fight the cats and drive them away forever!

Review:

This was a cute, fun marble popper game.  The birds are designed in such a way that they reminded me of the “Birds on a Wire” short film by Pixar.  They are these stubby, short little guys with bushy feathers and small beaks.  They are designed in a way that they appear very much like little balls so it is no trouble to picture them as marbles or cannonballs.  The birds will march along a pathway on their way to the cat’s cage and you must make all of your matches before they reach the cage or you will lose the level.  Simply place your catapult on the bottom of the screen where you would like to launch the bird and fire the bird into place.   The bird will step into line wherever you have placed him.  Ideally, you will want to launch the bird towards birds that are of the same color.  If you can find birds that are 2+ together and you hit them with a bird from your catapult of the same color, they will leave the line and fly away.  If you miss the shot and don’t hit your target, the bird will end up in line wherever it hits first.  If there is nothing in its way, the bird will launch and disappear off the top of the screen.  On some of the levels, there are a few obstacles that will prevent your bird from making matches including rocks and cacti.  Your bird will hit them, be stunned and just kind of disappear.

There are a few strategies that you can employ to help you win the game in a more effective manner.  You can play around with different methods and figure out which ones are best for you.  One of the tactics that I employed was to pick a section of the path that was relatively straight and was close to the catapult to fire my birds at.  The path will twist and turn and there are certain sections that you cannot hit with birds as they are blocked.  Sometimes there are tunnels, obstacles or other items that will prevent you from successfully making matches.  Also, the farther away the pathway is, the more likely you will miss your target.  You may miss the target by just missing your shot, but you also may miss your target because of the time delay.  The birds are constantly on the move and, the further you get in the game, the faster the birds are marching.  To hit a target successfully at the top of the screen, you will need to shoot it a little bit before the target that you want to hit.  I am not very good at this so I went for target that were close and that I knew I could hit reliably.  This may have meant that I was working on the middle or the end of the line instead of the front of the line, but it worked for me.  Just keep an eye on the front of the line so that you don’t lose birds to the cats because that is the section that will cause you to lose a level.  The best part about working on the middle or the end of the line is that, when you make a match and create a gap in the line, the front of the line will stop marching until the gap is closed.  You can halt the birds for quite some time with this strategy and so don’t feel like you always have to be working on the front of the line to win.

Some of the birds will have bonus icons on them and, if you make a match with them, you will get whatever power they have.  These include pausing the line, getting a laser beam that will show you exactly where your bird will land when you launch it, and bird bombers that will explode everything in their path.  I found the power ups to be helpful, but not necessary to win.  They are also temporary and only last a few moments so you cannot rely on them as they are few and far between.  To compound the difficulty of the game, you need to catch jewels that drop from successful matches after the birds fly away.  At first, I did not even try to catch the jewels as I really cannot focus my attention on successfully shooting the birds and catching jewels and doing whatever else, but then I discovered that I needed the jewels to build items on the bird island and I had to make a bigger effort.  Building different items on the island requires a balance of the different colors of birds (gained by making successful matches on the game), money and jewels so you have to work for several levels to build some of the items as they will take a lot of building materials.

This is a cute, colorful version of the traditional marble popper game.  I really enjoyed the extra little touches that they made to try and make this game appear different in many ways from a typical marble popper game.  The fun little story line was great and the graphics were wonderful.  I had a great deal more fun playing this marble popper game than I have in quite some time and would recommend this game for players of all ages.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is a little bit of writing to follow the story and to read tips, but the instructions are very basic and short so it would be easy to explain to a younger player what to do.  Due to the speed and tempo of the game, I recommend it for players ages 5 and up.

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Filed under Marble Popper Games, Match 3

Christmas Puzzle Game Review

Christmas Puzzle

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Christmas Puzzle

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 4 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Play through awesome Match 3 levels, collect Santa’s coins and prepare your house for Christmas with beautiful ornaments and illuminations! Use incredible powerups to blast through the puzzles and have a fantastic Christmas Puzzle holiday! Each new level is more difficult than the last, so prepare for an exciting time!

  • Incredible powerups
  • Fantastic gameplay
  • Prepare your house for Santa!” — Big Fish Games

Review:

This is a fairly standard match-3 game with a Christmas theme.  You are working to decorate your home for the holidays and are earning money by playing these games.  You need to make matches of 3 or more to clear all of the colored tiles.  At the beginning, you will be clearing silver tiles, which only require 1 match above them to clear the silver tile.  As you progress to more challenging levels, you will get silver and gold tiles.  The gold tiles need to have 2 matches made above them to clear them from the board.  Some tiles will have locks and chains on them, which means you need to make a match to clear the lock, then make 2 more matches to clear the gold tile underneath, etc.  This is no surprise to those who play match-3 games on a regular basis.  What makes this game a bit different is that you need to get coins to the bottom of the game board so that they fall into your bank.  You will typically have 1 or 2 coins per level worth 10 cents each.  Some levels have more coins and some of the coins are worth more money, but you usually can earn 10 – 20 cents per level.   After you complete a level (clear all the tiles + work the coins down to the bottom of the board), you can use the money you have earned to purchase holiday decorations for your home.

This game is nothing unique or special, but it was a fun game to play around the holidays.  They use several different game boards to keep things fresh and interesting and you can earn special bonuses by making big matches.  You can charge a hammer bonus by making matches, which comes in handy when you are stuck and cannot clear a tile in the corners.  This hammer will only clear 1 tile or will knock a tile from gold to silver or from silver to regular and cannot be used on coin tiles, but it can make the difference between clearing the board and being stuck and having to restart it.  So even if you cannot clear the sections of the board that you need to, keep making matches so that you can earn this upgrade and get the game going again.  It cannot be used on tiles the have locks on them or tiles that do not have an item in them (tiles underneath locks do not have a useable tile on them yet).  Other bonuses appear on the board itself and include bombs and rockets, which will clear a square or a line (diagonally or horizontally or vertically depending on which way the rocket is facing).  You simply move the bomb/rocket in any direction and it will go off.

The game has a nice interface and I was able to slide tiles to make matches, which I enjoy doing.  The graphics are clear and it is easy to see if what you are matching.  All of the tiles have a Christmas theme so you will be matching candy canes, Santa hats, presents, etc.  The background graphics also have a holiday theme such as snowmen, snowy forests, etc.  It takes quite some time to upgrade your home with Christmas decorations, but you can purchase some of them right away after playing a single level.  Most of the upgrades you need to purchase cost considerably more and so you will have to play through several levels before you can afford them.  Once you can afford an upgrade, the “+” sign will turn gold instead of silver so you know you can afford it.  Simply click on the “+” and then click on “buy” and the upgrade will take place immediately.  Once you have finished purchasing all of the upgrades, you win!  It doesn’t matter if you are done, however, as you can keep playing away.

I find a good match-3 game to be quite relaxing and a great deal of fun.  This game reminded me of Fishdom in the game board layouts, but it is not as brightly colored or sparkly.  However, this is a fun game to play in December to get you in the Christmas mood.  They have dialogue boxes that pop up throughout the game to explain new features and what they do so you don’t have to wade through a lengthy training tutorial.  This was nice as you simply have to start playing and all pertinent information will be fed to you one piece at a time.  Of course, if you play match-3 games, you don’t need to worry about the information on the screen as this is a very standard, traditional game with very little in the way of surprises.  There is no time limit so you don’t have to worry as you play.  They will tell you how long it took you to clear the board, but you can only earn as much money as the coins on the board regardless of how quickly you clear the board.  This makes this match-3 game a solid choice for younger players who may feel that other games rush them too much so that they cannot complete the board before the time runs out.  This game is a solid performer and will be enjoyed by players of all ages.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is some writing on the screen to explain how to play, but it would be simple to explain to a younger player what the goal of the game is.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.

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Burger Battle Game Review

Burger Battle

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 8 hours
Type of Game: Match 3
My Rating: 2/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Help our hero save the princess from King Burger! Defeat your opponent by stuffing them full of your homemade burgers! Cook up delicious hamburgers in this fast-paced Match 3 game, and make your opponents too full to move. Unlock tasty recipes and use your wits to outsmart each enemy that gets in your way in Burger Battles! Travel across the world as you set off on an adventure and save the princess!

  • Charming gameplay
  • Unique upgrades
  • Save the princess!” — Big Fish Games

Review:

An evil lord has kidnapped your love, the princess, and it is up to you to battle the evil soldiers and get her back!  Unfortunately, you are a chef, not a knight, so you will be fighting with food.  You are given a different game board for each level that you play.  The board will be full of different colored blobs and you use your spatula to scoop up clusters of the same color.  Each color coordinates with a different ingredient in the burger recipe.  Once you have accumulated the different ingredients to complete a burger recipe, the burger will show up on the bottom of the screen and you can force your opponent to eat it.  You and your opponent will take turns scooping up ingredients or forcing the other person to eat a burger.  Burgers with more ingredients cause more damage.  Each player (yourself and your opponent) have a bar of life next to your person and when that bar is empty, a winner is declared.  You can also tell who is winning as, when you force the other person to eat a burger, they get bigger and bigger until they fall down on the floor in a round ball.  To get the princess back, you will need to battle your way through increasingly difficult opponents until you reach the final kidnapper!

I loved the idea of this game, but I did not really care for the game itself.  The game will ask you if you want a tutorial when you start and, of course, I clicked on yes, but it was totally useless!  I did not understand what they were talking about with the instructions and did not find any of the help features to be useful.  I had to muddle my way through the first several rounds before I even knew what I was supposed to do!  There are different colored blobs on the game board and each blob coincides with an ingredient.  It is a bit difficult to tell which color matches which ingredient as all of your ingredients are listed, but you cannot make matches for all of them in the first several rounds.  Some basics are: green=lettuce, light brown=egg, dark brown=meat, purple=onion, etc.  You will have to make some matches and see what you end up with as I found myself discovering things through trial and error.  I am not sure how many blobs you have to collect before you get an ingredient as I just always tried to scoop up as many blobs as I could.  The “matching,” and I use that term very loosely, is one of the most confusing parts of the game.  You have a spatula that you will use to scoop up ingredients, but they don’t have to be next to each other and you can skip over ingredients, back track and jump around on the board.  I am not sure if they are timing you for how long you can collect ingredients, tracking the strength of your hold on your mouse button, but I can tell you that sometimes I only got 1 ingredient and other times I got 10 ingredients.  I found this part of the game very confusing and it really detracted from my game enjoyment because I was playing against a computer opponent every time so, of course, they were much better at collecting ingredients than I was.

You can try and strategize in this game a few different ways.  You can just kind of randomly collect ingredients on the board and hope that you will complete a burger or you can target specific ingredients to make specific burgers.  You have a burger recipe book open on the bottom of your screen that will show you which burger recipe you are working on.  There is a tiny arrow option that will scroll through your recipes and you can select whichever burger you want to make or work on.  You begin the game with 2 burger recipes, but you can purchase more recipes in the store.  I found that the arrow keys were not very responsive, but I really needed to pay close attention to which ingredients were actually usable as I was making big matches, but I couldn’t use that ingredient in any of my recipes.  I played around with stocking up on burgers and using them all at the same time (you can only collect ingredients OR make your opponent eat a burger on your turn, not both) or just forcing them on my opponent as soon as I made them and I did not notice any big different between the two strategies.  It is really important to focus on the few limited ingredients that you can use as I feel that most of the board is full of stuff you cannot use.  Green/lettuce I felt like was in particularly short supply (and it is a lot of recipes!).

A really important tip is to use the money that you earn from defeating opponents in the store to purchase helpers and new recipes.  They will never take you automatically to the store so you have to click on it when you can.  After you win a battle, there is a big play button on the bottom of the screen with a tiny store button on the right and a menu button on the left.  Click on the store button and you can see that there are a few free recipes to get you going at the beginning and some other helpful options for you to buy.  Play around with what is in the store and you can come up with a strategy that works for you.  Just remember that burgers that take more ingredients to put together cause more damage to your opponent.  An egg burger is 1 egg + 1 lettuce; a meat burger is 1 lettuce + 2 meat.  The meat burger will kill your opponent faster than the egg burger, etc.  It is important to note, however, that the burgers that cause the most damage take a lot more time to accumulate ingredients to put together so you have to balance between speedy burgers that cause little damage and slower burgers that cause a lot of damage.

In the end, I just don’t feel like I could recommend this game to very many players.  I did not feel that the game was well executed, even though it was a good idea.  The graphics have a cute, manga style to them and what could have been a good storyline if I could have understood it better.  I wish that there was an option to click through the story to make it go faster, but, as there isn’t, you just kind of have to stick it out and wait for it to be over.  Make sure that you play the free trial hour so that you know for sure if you like this game or not.  I am glad that I did!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Filed under Match 3

Astro Bugz Revenge Game Review

Astro Bugz Revenge

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 7 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Match 3, Arcade
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Protect our solar system from Astro Bugz in this Marble Popper game! Blow up the bugz and save the day in Astro Bugz Revenge! Pick up awesome powerups and annihilate the incoming invaders before they reach Earth and become a hero. Take on incredible bosses as you fight through different planets and take on wave after wave of the dreaded bugz.

  • Awesome boss battles
  • Fast-paced action
  • Take on the Astro Bugz!” — Big Fish Games

Review:

This match-3 game reminds me of the old-style arcade games that we used to play in actual arcades.  You are a little shooter that slides along the bottom of the screen.  The object of the game is to match 3 or more balls of the same color to cause them to disappear off the board.  You have a clock in the upper left hand corner that clicks down how much time is left before the level ends and an accuracy counter in the upper right hand corner that keeps track of how well you shoot the colored balls.  If your accuracy is above 80%, you qualify for a special bonus round that you can accrue some extra money on.  Your accuracy is boosted higher when you place a ball well (attach to another ball of the same color) and decreases when you shoot a ball past the other balls (doesn’t attach to any balls) or place it poorly (attach a ball to another ball that does not match in color).  You can play the game on 1 of 5 levels, ranging from beginner to expert.  Depending on which level you play, you get different aids and power ups.  Once you select a difficulty, you play 50 different levels that you can play at random or play in order.  After you complete the classic mode, you can play the revenge mode or versus mode to have a completely different experience.

I spent most of my time playing the classic mode on beginner level.  I do not excel at arcade games and have a difficult time passing levels that require really fast coordination of shooting action, which this game does.  On the beginner difficulty level, you have a shooter that will show you vertical lines stretching up so that you can aim more easily.  The lines will take on the color of the ball that you are currently shooting to help you try and match the balls more effortlessly.  As you select more difficult modes, these shooting aids go away so that you are shooting blind and hoping the ball will land where you want it to.  I had mixed reactions to how helpful the guidance lines were, however, as there is a lag time between when you shoot the ball and when it hits the other balls on the board.  This depends on how far you are shooting the ball, of course, but the shooting action is quite slow on the beginner level.  This is offset by the balls on the board moving more slowly, as well.

To keep things interesting, each level that you play is different.  Some of the levels have balls that rotate in a circle, others fill in lines from right to left, some fill lines from left to right and some just descend from to top to bottom.  There is a trick to every level and, while I effortlessly beat some levels, I had to replay others several times until I caught a lucky break.  In addition to the boards being different on each level, there are several power ups, power downs, and other tricky moves to master.  There are power ups that will change the ball you are shooting into a wild card that will take on the color of whatever other ball it attaches to, others that will turn your shooting ball into a fireball that will take out everything in its path, bombs, timers and other, fairly typical power ups.  The difference here is that you have to catch the power up after you make the match or you don’t get the boost.  Each of these power ups is attached to a ball on the board and you can only get the power up by making a match with that particular ball.  The power up icon then drops down and you have to slide your shooter underneath it to catch it and then you can use it.  But be careful!  There are other sparkly items that drop that will actually hurt your game.  Large balls will drop spangly stars that will cause your shooter to spin for several seconds and you cannot shoot any balls until your shooter stops spinning.  One of the trickier power ups available is one that shrinks the size of the ball that you are shooting.  This can be helpful when you are trying to aim something in between a pack of other balls, but can be a bit confusing when you are trying to fill a gap to make a match.

This game sounds like a fairly typical match-3 game, but it isn’t.  When any of the balls get to the bottom of the screen, the level ends and you have to restart it.  This can be particularly tricky on the levels when the game board is rotating in a circular fashion as the balls on the very edges rapidly descend and will quickly take out your shooter if you are not careful.  Unlike normal match-3 games, the balls only disappear on this one when you make a match on it.  I usually rely on making matches at the top of the board to cause balls attached underneath them to fall, but, since you are playing in space, the balls will stay on the screen even when they are not attached to any other balls on the board.  This means that it is very easy to get a few, single, far-flung balls hanging out in space that can take you out if you are not careful.  It is much easier to focus on the larger body of balls coming down in the middle of the screen, but you really have to focus on the balls that are the furthest along the screen.  I cannot emphasize enough that you have to keep a very close eye on the circular game boards as a ball that is far out on the top of your screen will soon come down to the bottom of the screen and needs to be eliminated before it reaches you or you have to start over!

I had a fun time playing this match-3 game, even though I wasn’t really any good at it.  I do like that there is a level for everyone – no matter how good you are at playing or how bad!  Younger players can have a fun time playing this game and matching colors and trying to beat the clock and not have the little balls come alive and eat your shooter.  Older players can challenge themselves with the hard or expert levels and get the feel of playing some of the old, arcade-style games we grew up with.  The graphics are cute and there are some fun little sound effects that the balls make when they are getting close to eating you or when they are matched.  Some of the balls are bubbly little aliens – until they get down to the planet where your shooter is and they eat you!  If you are looking for a fresh, new take on match-3 that will challenge you, this is a good one for you to test out!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is very little instruction given so you just have to wing it and learn as you go along.  There is little to no reading required for this game so just dive in and give it a go!  Recommended for ages 7 and up.

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Filed under Arcade, Match 3

Sally’s Quick Clips Game Review

Sally’s Quick Clips

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Sally Series #3
Creator: Games Cafe, Inc.
Publisher: Game House, Inc.
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 10 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 3 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Time Management, Match 3
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Head back to Sally’s roots in this unique game that pairs match 3 gameplay with time management mania! As clients enter the salon, match scissors, shampoos, hair dryers and more, to give them the treatments they desire before they lose patience. Pick the perfect look with mini-games, make each day’s goal to move to the next level, and spend your cash on upgrades and perks for your clients. The full version of Sally’s Quick Clips features:

  • A unique blend of match 3 and time management gameplay
  • Lots of salon upgrades
  • Special power-ups” — Shockwave.com

Review:

This is definitely a different type of Sally game!  I kind of liked it and kind of didn’t like it.  It is really a match 3 game, but has quite a few time management game qualities in it so it is an interesting hybrid of both.  Sally has been selected to participate in “Style America” a hairstyling competition with 11 famous hairstylists going head-to-head in competition!  To win, you must play through 5 levels of regular game play to get to the stylist competition, or level 6, at each location.  You begin styling 2 customers at a time with hair washing, hair cutting and blow drying.  This means there are 4 different types of tiles on the game board – bubbles (hair washing), scissors (hair cutting), blow dryers (blow drying) and four-leaf clovers (power-ups).  You need to make matches of 3 or more to fill the meter on each kind of service.  When the meter is full, one of the circles will fill in with solid color (a different color for each service) and you can then drag the completed, large circle to the appropriate customer.  So, instead of dragging your customers around, you are dragging the services around.  You begin with 2 chairs to serve customers and quickly progress to 4 customers at a time.  Each customer will request a different group of services and, while you start off offering only 3 services, you quickly progress to 4 and then 5 and then more services on each game board.  You can only see what the customer is immediately requesting on the top level, but, if you look closely, you can see how many circles are underneath, which will give you an idea of which other services that customer will require before they leave.  To pass the level, you must accumulate a specific amount of hearts.  You get hearts by completing services on your customers – the happier they are, the more hearts they will give you (up to 5 hearts max per customer)!  Some services, such as hair washing and blow drying, will not increase hearts, but can cause your customers to lose hearts if you take too long to serve them.  Other services, such as hair cutting, hair dying, accessories, and tanning, will increase hearts if you select the right look for your customer (they will smile when you get to the one that they like).  You must select these services by scrolling using the arrows to the right or the left.  Customers will either give you a blank look, a frown or a smile to indicate what they think.  A neutral look will not cost you any hearts, but it will  not gain you any hearts either; a frown will cause you to lose a heart; and a smile will cause you to gain a heart.  Once you have played 5 regular levels, you will play a 6th, competition level at each location.  There, you will play against one of your competitors, played by the computer, in a contest to style one customer.  You will need to fill a tube with a specific number of hair washes, hair cuts, blow dries, or whatever else is on the bar to beat your competition and win the trophy!

This is a fun game, but I enjoyed the other games in the Sally Series more.  You may be like me and think “oh, so it’s a match-3 game, that will be easy!,” but you will be wrong!  I tried a couple of different techniques, but I am not sure than any of them worked as well as I was hoping.  First, I tried matching as many items on the board as I could so that I would have a lot of services to offer in a row and move the customers out.  That worked really well on the first couple of levels, where there were not a lot of services and I had patient customers, but it didn’t go quite as well on more difficult levels because there were so many different icons on the board and so many impatient customers!  So then I tried to look at what the first customer in the line wanted as a service and just make matches for that service.  Then I would perform that service right away, but that didn’t seem to work really well either as you can only see the first service that they want.  If they want a total of 5 services, you are stuck if you only have enough matches to perform 1.  I ended up doing a kind of hybrid combination of the 2 strategies and matching as many as I could for a while and then serving as many customers as I could with what I have.  Then I went back to matching and tried to use the power-ups to fill in for those services that I could give my customers.  This game is definitely more difficult than it looks and you will have to try different combinations to try and find what works for you.

Even though I cannot give you a successful game technique, I can offer you a few tips to play this game more successfully.  Use your money to purchase your power ups wisely.  You don’t earn very much on each level and will have to save through several levels to purchase the best power ups.  It is easy to get caught up in a kind of buying fever where you just buy whatever you can afford, but this will not help you in the long run.  I found that the most useful power ups where the ones floating around the top of the screen (a bit to the left).  These power ups will enable you to fill the meter on the services with fewer matches, which is always helpful.  I think the best power-up that is available for purchase is hidden in plain sight.  It is the vase on the coffee table that you can purchase flowers for.  Each flower that you purchase represents a wild card that you can fill to use on your customers.  Once you make enough matches with the four-leaf clovers (you match these to fill all of your power ups – the coffee cups and the wild cards), you get that many happy faces that you can use to service a customer with any service that they want.  Let me repeat that, you can use these happy faces to drag down to use on any customer for any service that they want.  These power ups are definitely worth having!  Other power ups include extra circles on your services (you can only fill it with 3 at the beginning and then the meter just stays full until you use some of the services so you could be matching away, but not getting credit for it), chairs that make your customers more patient, magazines you can give to your customer to make them more patient (can be helpful if you want to make a bunch of matches and have your customers waiting for services), extra cups of coffee, a diagonal-match maker, and more.  The main downfall with purchasing the coffee cups (each cup gives your customer an extra heart when you drag it to them) and happy faces (used to fulfill any service) is that, once you fill them, you must use all of them before the four-leaf clovers matches will start filling a new set.  For example, say you have 3 coffee cup power-ups.  You will need to keep matching four-leaf clovers until the power up fills.  After you fill the meter, you will have all 3 coffee cups ready to serve right away.  Say you have one customer who is unhappy so you give her one of the coffee cups to increase her number of hearts, which leaves you with 2 coffee cups, which would lead you to believe that the meter would now start running again to fill that 3rd cup of coffee, right?  Wrong.  The meter will start filling again on your coffee cups when you serve all 3 cups of coffee.  This is a bit frustrating as I always wanted to save my power ups for when I really needed them, rather than blow them right away on whomever is near the unhappy customer.

Another tip is to use the game board power ups wisely.  You will get a ton of bombs (explode tiles in a square around it), scissors (“cut” a horizontal row of tiles), hair rollers (“roll” a vertical row of tiles), arrows (remove a strip of tiles shown as a highlighted row based on where the arrows is pointing), coins (money added to your totals to use for purchases in the store), candles (gives customers hearts, extra money, extra patience, etc. depending on the type of candle that comes up) and, if you use them in a smart manner, you can get a lot of tiles that you need to fill your service meters.  One of the most important hints that I can give you is that, on this game, not all types of tiles are created equally.  It is easy to get enough matches to fill the hair wash services, the hair cutting services and other basics, but it is extremely challenging to make enough matches on the accessories and tanning services.  It seemed like no matter how many matches I made to try and fill the meter on these 2 services, I rarely, if ever, had these services available when my customers wanted them.  I used my happy faces on these services most of the time as I always struggled with these ones.  The hardest levels, for me, were the game levels where both accessories and tanning services were offered as I had to make customers wait a really long time before I could give them the services they were requesting.  Just keep in mind that the men will never ask for an accessories service, but both men and women will ask for tanning services.  Pay attention as you service your customers and you will notice that certain customers never order some services (the little girl will never request a hair dye or a tanning service, for example) so you know who to target with more difficult services.  Also, the game will give you a quick rundown of the customer’s patience level when a new type of customer is introduced.  Pay attention to these as this information will become very helpful on more complicated levels.  You need to know who you can keep waiting and who you have to service right away.  And some of the customers get ugly – literally – when they get upset!  The spoiled rich girl is pretty unattractive when she is upset.  And she doesn’t look too much better when she is happy!  Pay careful attention to the facial expressions on the customers’ faces as some of them are difficult to distinguish between smiling and sneering.  If you click on a frown and think it is a smile, you could lose that critical last heart on an upset customer.

Anyway, if you are looking for a challenging match-3 game, you could do much worse than this one.  This game is certainly challenging enough to keep your attention, even though it looks easy on the surface.  You need to juggle the responsibilities and requirements of both time management and match-3 games, which really keeps you on your toes.  Bottom line is: you make matches to fulfill service bars, when the bar is full, you drag the service to the customer, click through the different options and select a stile you think the customer will like, repeat until customer is satisfied and they pay you and leave.  This game is fun and fast-paced, but it is not as good as the other games in the Sally Series, which are more classically styled time management games and more to my taste.  Give this game a chance if you enjoy either game genre.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is some reading at the beginning of the game if you choose to play the tutorial (recommended for first time players).  You will also need to read information on the patient and tipping levels of customers.  Other than that, everything is done by matching graphics, icons and colors so younger players can play the game, but the fast-pace and multitasking will frustrate some younger players.  Recommended for ages 10 and up.

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Filed under Match 3, Time Management