Did you know that if you laid out every single one of the match-three puzzle games currently available for iPhone end-to-end, the line would stretch to the moon and back?
Actually we’re fibbing, but there’s no denying that there happens to be a positive surfeit of this type of game at present and the desire for them shows no sign of abating.
Consequently, it takes something special for a game to stand out from the ever-increasing crowd, and the curiously-titled Spinzizzle possesses that element.
At its core it remains a match-three puzzler, but the execution is refreshingly different. You’re presented with a dial which is dotted with holes. This dial can be rotated using a finger so as to influence the behaviour of coloured balls, which drop into the dial from above.Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match
The object is to clear the dial of balls as quickly as possible by matching them in groups of three or more. Once you’ve successfully matched some of your balls they light up, but they’re removed from the playing area only if you stop rotating the dial for a moment.
This aspect of the game is central to its appeal because savvy manipulation of the dial can allow you to create massive chains and rack up impressive points.
Since matched balls remain in play, you can quickly spin the dial around to create successive matches. In some cases it’s possible to clear the entire dial in just one chain. Speed is definitely a positive thing because you’re competing against the clock. Successful matches bump up the amount of time you have.
Naturally, there are a few additional items thrown into the mix to keep things interesting. Bombs can only be removed by linking them with a chain of the exact same colour and once they explode they take out adjacent balls. Other unique balls appear and tread the fine line between being a hindrance and a help.Don't touch that dial
Spinzizzle features two game modes: Story and Action. Story sees you moving from dial to dial, each offering a different layout and therefore different considerations. Action mode allows you to play any dial from Story mode (provided you've unlocked it) until you run out of time.
There’s more strategy and depth to Spinzizzle than is at first apparent and the lacklustre tutorial screen does little to enlighten you about the complexities of the game. A more robust guide would ensure that you don’t become flummoxed when a hitherto-unseen unique ball drops into play.
Support for OpenFeint lends Spinzizzle players a sense of achievement when they pass particular milestones, but to be honest the game boasts enough appeal without it.
Innovation in the arena of the match-three puzzler is a rare thing and for this reason Spinzizzle is worthy of praise - it manages to take the concept and spins it on its head.