As countless Hollywood sci-fi movies have proven over the years, the accepted way of invading a hostile planet usually involves high-tech weaponry, an armada of spaceships and a few thousand ruthless robotic soldiers to mop up the remnants of the opposing populace.
Puzzlegeddon adopts a slightly different approach. As in genre stablemate Puzzle Quest, you subdue your opponent by linking together similarly-coloured blocks. Hardly the most fearsome method of obliteration we’ve come across, but it seems to work just as well.
The field of war is a 6x6 grid filled with blocks of four different shades: red, green, blue and yellow. Linking together five or more of these blocks and then pressing the fire button twice in quick succession removes them from the playing area and adds them to your resource reserves.
The caveat is that you’re not able to move individual blocks. Instead, you have to shift entire rows, both vertically and horizontally. This makes the game somewhat akin to a two dimensional version of a Rubik’s Cube, with each movement requiring careful consideration, lest you move one row and accidentally mess up your carefully arranged link-ups.
Combat in Puzzlegeddon is reliant on you accruing as many of the four coloured resources as possible. Each colour relates to a different ability - for example, red blocks boost your attacking resource which, when it's at a certain level, allows you to launch deadly missiles against your enemy.
Green, on the other hand, grants defensive options. Should you find yourself under attack by a rocket, you can launch a counter attack which will knock the hostile bird out of action before it can do any harm.
Yellow is all about disrupting your enemy’s plans. Using this ability you can briefly jam their early warning systems and prevent them from seeing your missiles until it’s too late to launch a counter strike, or - even better - prevent them from launching any missiles at all for a short period of time.
Finally, there's the blue power, which is all about boosting your existing abilities - improved missile attacks and better defensive capabilities are just two such options.
You don’t get all of these choices from the outset, however. During the Campaign mode, you’ll find that they become available as you progress, as do other playable characters and additional game modes, such as objective-led challenge levels and special one-on-one duels with CPU rivals.
It’s difficult to find fault with Puzzlegeddon. The concept is solid, the execution is perfect and the depth is considerable. If we were to pick up on one glaring deficiency it would be the absence of a multiplayer mode.
The game originated on PC and naturally came pre-packed with such a feature. It’s a crying shame that it’s been removed for this mobile release because it’s obvious that the game has been constructed with competitive play in mind.
Still, Puzzlegeddon is arguably more at home on a portable device than it was on the PC. The engaging gameplay and plethora of different game modes make this the kind of mobile entertainment you’d gladly wage interstellar war to partake in.