Review: Shapes


I did enjoy this game and found it quite playable.

Author: Masabi

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Shapes? TileFall surely! Back in my Psion 3a days, I played TileFall a lot while commuting, so I was keen to see how entertaining Shapes could be.

During a gameFirst impressions

It looks very pretty, a very simple options screen and then the game loads. Each group of symbols loads individually, which is nice the first few times, but the novelty does wear off quite quickly.

Playing the game

The object of the game is to make all the tiles disappear by clicking on groups of them until either there’s none left or there are no more groups of each type of tile. The controls feel natural, it’s all done with the navigator button. I like the way the tiles flash if they could be removed with your cursor in its current position, it’s also good to see the score you would get for that move. The design of the five types of tile are good in that they are all distinctive, so there’s none of the squinting to identify them that I remember from the 4-colour greyscale of the 3a.

A new levelSummary

This is a nice little game, and it’s entertaining and fairly addictive. It runs smoothly and has a high score table, which is something I always like in a game.

The random backgrounds to the game sometimes hurt my eyes, and their textures can make it hard to see the tiles – the game itself is so colourful that it doesn’t really need a highly coloured and textured background. I find this game a lot harder to complete than TileFall (or maybe that’s related to having had a baby since those days…) – in fact, I’ve only completed it once. I say completed, as the last tile disappeared, I was looking forward to seeing "You’ve won!" across the screen and instead was treated to "Round 2" - I nearly screamed. It does have a high frustration level but, as the download figures for Vexed show, a lot of people like that in a game! Perhaps the biggest frustration point for me though is that there is no way to quit the game you’re in other than coming to its natural end. Even if you hold down the menu key to bring up the task list and close the application from there, next time you open it you have to continue from where you left off. That’s a bit of a sore point for me!

Game OverThings I would change

As I’ve mentioned above, the two things that I think could be improved are the distracting backgrounds, and to have a way to exit a game mid-play. The left selection button is designated as select, but it doesn’t need to be as the navigator already does this. The left button would be better served bringing up the menu, one of whose options could be 'Quit'. Playing this Java midlet has made me want to write an OPL version!

I did enjoy this game and found it quite playable.

Since I originally wrote this review, Masabi have made a few changes to the game. The scoring has changed, and now any unused single tile remove chances carry over to the next level. They have also added a way to quit a game - hold down * and #, which kind of works, but isn't as good as a menu quit option. The distracting backgrounds are still there, so my re-reviewed score is 75%.

Reviewed by Vikki Spence

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