Game Reviews

Jelly Splash

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| Jelly Splash
Jelly Splash
| Jelly Splash

The App Store isn't exactly short of line-drawing puzzlers. I've played a fair few of them myself for Pocket Gamer, including this one, this one, and this one.

So Jelly Splash is in a crowded market.

Heck, it's so crowded that Jelly Splash isn't even the only game of its type with the word "Jelly", or a word ending in "ash", in its title.

Though it's not a revolution in games design, Jelly Splash does just about enough to set it apart from similar offerings, thanks to its entertaining experimentation within the (now tired) genre it's attempting to muscle into.

Jell-oh it's the same as all the others

You know how this works by now: a grid of icons (in this case, jellies) is presented to you, and you need to draw a line connecting at least three of them to remove them from play, at which point more icons tumble from above to fill the empty space. The longer the line, the higher the score.

There are well over a hundred levels included with the free download, and you can play for as long as you like provided you don't lose too many lives by failing the levels. Should you do this, you'll need to wait for your stock of hearts to fill back up, at which point you can continue. Or you can buy more.

With a limited number of moves with which to fulfil given criteria, you'll become stumped on certain levels until you've figured out the optimum strategy. This ensures that each move you make is considered carefully.

Should you finish with moves to spare, the game announces that it's Splash Time, and begins detonating jellies and boosting your final score, which in turn decides the number of stars (out of three) you receive for completing the level.

This is all pretty standard stuff, but the uniqueness of Jelly Splash comes out of its Super Jelly system, the obstacles it places in your way, and the objectives it sets for you.

Sadly sans cape

Super Jellies are formed when you string a large number of jellies together. When you then use one of these jellies in its own string, an explosion destroys everything vertically or horizontally, but only at the point of the last jelly you touched.

This spices up the general gameplay of finding the longest lines for the highest scores, as you may wish to cut a line short to connect with a second Super Jelly.

Then there are the obstacles and objectives, which often form part of the same whole. The game is full of additional goals to take into consideration, such as destroying all of the darkened squares by removing jellies that reside on top of them, or clearing the slime covering a jelly by matching it to other jellies multiple times.

Then there are the mushrooms that must be chopped down to access the rest of the board, and the diamonds sitting at the top of the screen that need to be moved to the bottom - all of this adds much needed flavour to the otherwise rote play.

Jelly Splash has just enough original ideas to make it worth your time, even if you've already played games like this before. It's not a truly standout title, but it's as good a choice as any for your daily commute this week.

Jelly Splash

Making a tiny 'splish' on the App Store, rather than an almighty 'splash', Jelly Splash is a slightly novel entry in a very familiar puzzle sub-genre