Christmas may be over, but there's still loads of holiday-related fun to be had with the brand new mobile phones Santa left in all your stockings.
Take Collapse! Holiday Edition, for example. The reskinned version of the original game from developer Mr Goodliving features seasonal costumes and an unnatural wintery landscape.Chock-a-block
Collapse! Holiday Edition's beauty lies in its simplicity. In the standard game, rows of blocks gradually appear from the bottom of the screen in rows. Your task is to prevent the blocks from hitting the top by removing groups of three or more at a time.
Adding a touch of spice to proceedings, a range of power-ups are on offer. There are coloured bombs that remove all blocks of the same hue, scramblers that swap all the blocks around, and arrowed blocks that remove all blocks in the direction of the arrows.
Further variety is to be found in the myriad game types. For example, Puzzle mode has you clearing a single screen of blocks within a certain number of moves, while Relapse mode has extra rows dropping down from the top of the screen.Blockbuster
By far the best fun, however, is to be found in the Quest mode. Working your way around a meandering map you have to beat a variety of increasingly difficult levels of all types, endure gruelling boss fights, and collect coins for upgrades and usable items.
In keeping with the holiday theme, you can dress your avatar in a selection of Christmas costumes, with new ones available after each boss level. Although they have no effect on the gameplay, it's a nice touch that gives you a sense of connection to your nameless avatar.
The last few levels of the Quest map are especially gruelling, often requiring you to use several of your carefully hoarded power-ups, though it never gets so difficult that you won't retry a level.Solid Foundations
Presentation is of the highest order, with bright, colourful cartoon graphics and an excellently upbeat theme tune that suits the setting perfectly. There's loads of content to work your way through - the Quest alone should take you a few days to complete.
Despite this, there's almost no replay value to be found once you've completed Quest mode, which can become a bit samey well before you face the final boss. The steady increase in difficulty goes some way towards offsetting the decline, but you'll likely get to the end just for the sense of completion rather than fulfilment of victory.
Aside from a few novelty costumes and a vaguely seasonal theme, Collapse! Holiday Edition remains virtually identical to the original - which is no bad thing. Collapse! remains one of the most polished puzzlers for mobile phone, whatever the season.