PileUp! Candymania
|
| PileUp! Candymania

If you're a big fan of chocolate and sweets, you'll understand that pretty much anything can be made good with their inclusion. Like car adverts for example - as proven by the Skoda Fabia cake car advert, which made Skodas suddenly a million times more appealing. To eat of course, and not to drive.

Sweet lovers will appreciate PileUp! Candymania's apparent goal - to take a tried and tired puzzle game formula and make it better by adding lots of the sugary stuff.

Backdrops feature falling lollipops and gummy bears, chapters go by names like Jelly Ocean and Cookie World, and the falling objects you're trying to match up and make disappear are candy shaped and coloured. Just looking at it is enough to get you salivating like a dog in a bell shop.

However, while I for one might be easily won over by the sight of confectionery, it's not like its inclusion automatically guarantees greatness. I'm looking at you Ninjabread Man (a biscuit-based Wii game currently awarded an average 20 per cent review score over at Metacritic).

And it has to be said that PileUp! Candymania doesn't do too much to further a genre that's already pretty stuffed to capacity. That is, the Tetris-led genre where coloured objects fall down from the top of the screen and need rotating in order to match up like-colours and make them disappear, which is where PileUp! belongs.

Each level begins with rows of candies already lined up and waiting to be taken out. More candies - in triangular groups of three - then fall from the top of the screen and can be rotated and moved left and right so you can slot them into the best position.

Match up four or more like-coloured ones, and they'll disappear, sometimes causing an avalanche that takes out even more of them.

This is where PileUp! differs from the likes of Tetris. Its circular candies don't fit together precisely, instead sliding and rolling across one another as they land. This is both a blessing and a curse since their haphazard landing can mean colours slide in the right positions, but also can mean they don't go where you're planning on them going.

The game's 60 levels include two different types of challenge - Clear the Level and Get the Coin Down. The former is pretty self-explanatory - the level simply ends once all the candies have been wiped out. In the latter, a coin sits on top of the candy pile, and the level ends as soon as the coin reaches the bottom of the screen.

There are also the obligatory power-ups to consider, and PileUp! comes with four different types, activated when a chain is formed by its adjacent candies.

The Joker ball can be substituted for any colour candy, the Bomb blasts away adjoining candies, the V-Blast causes an even bigger explosion and the Colour Bomb wipes out all the candies of the matched colour.

The game isn't difficult to complete - that's because although there's a time limit, the level doesn't end when it's run out. You simply stop scoring points. The only way to lose a level is by letting the candies reach the top - something which happens more frequently in later levels when they're stacked high to start with.

But still - unlockable awards aside - PileUp! lacks the feeling of having a proper challenge. The Quick Play mode is more appealing, since it just gives you a score challenge instead of instructions to clear one screen after another.

The biggest problem though is just the feeling you've seen and played it all before. PileUp! Candymania is a solid and good looking game, but it's not quite as tasty as other puzzle games already out there.

PileUp! Candymania

The perfect puzzle game for sweet lovers, PileUp! Candymania has you matching up like-coloured candies against the clock. It's not that challenging or original, but it's sweet enough while it lasts
Score