Atlantis Sky Patrol
| Atlantis Sky Patrol

Such seems to be the way with mobile phone games that it's not always clear what you're going to get from the title alone.

Take Atlantis Sky Patrol for instance. Here we were thinking we were going to be soaring through the skies in a fighter jet, and what we actually end up doing is playing a puzzle game that's very similar to the coloured ball firing Zuma but with a vague doomsday device destroying plot.

Apparently, these devices can be destroyed by matching coloured marbles in a chain. Unlikely we know, but then who plays a puzzle game for their plot? Still, while Atlantis Sky Patrol isn't the game you might think you're buying going on the title, it's unlikely you'll be disappointed because - like similar games Luxor 2 and the aforementioned Zuma - it's incredibly addictive.

Essentially, you're put in control of a marble-firing craft which can scroll left and right across the bottom of the screen. Above it, a chain of differently coloured marbles are pushed along by a mechanism from a start point to the finish. If you let them reach that finish, it's the end of the level.

Instead, you must fire the marbles you're given as they appear into the ones above you and line up rows of three or more like-coloured ones to make them disappear.

However, there's a bit more to Atlantis than just that - and these bits are what makes it a bit different to other similar games. For starters, in order to destroy the level's doomsday device and stop the ever-churning chain of marbles from appearing, you must fire marbles at stationary balls scattered about the screen in between trying to stop the onslaught of the moving mechanism. Once these have all been destroyed, the device is dead and the marbles stop appearing. Once you've then cleared the screen of the remaining ones, the level is complete and coins rain from the sky for you to collect.

Which brings us onto another part of the game - upgrading your craft in between levels. With the collected coins you can buy all sorts of accuracy, speed and disruptor power-ups, all of which increase your craft's performance.

Alongside these, there are also collectable power-ups in the game, which will slow down the marbles, stop them and give you multiple marbles to spray about among other things. Bonus round levels too go a bit Space Invaders, letting you fire at falling marbles for coins.

With so much going on and 100+ levels to play through, you can't accuse Atlantis Sky Patrol of not packing plenty in. However, its gameplay doesn't feel quite as satisfying as Luxor 2's. The levels don't feel quite so finely tuned for difficulty or the firing of marbles as precise.

It's quite a marginal quality difference though, and the game is still both addictive and varied. It's not the most original puzzle game we've played, but it fine-tunes what similar games before it have done by introducing plenty of new features. As long as you download it not expecting dog fights and fighter jets, you'll be more than happy.

Atlantis Sky Patrol

Zuma marble-firing clone which introduces some nifty new features to create a puzzle game with lots of diversity and strategy. It's nothing new, but it's still superbly addictive
Kath Brice
Kath Brice
Kath gave up a job working with animals five years ago to join the world of video game journalism, which now sees her running our DS section. With so many male work colleagues, many have asked if she notices any difference.