May 10 AT 1:42 PM Matt Demers 4 Comments

FrozenBubble brings classic puzzling to Android

As someone who rarely uses his Milestone for gaming, it’s hard to find a game that consistently keeps my attention. Yes, I’ve used this line of thinking when writing about other games in the past, but while I’ve enjoyed those games for the short term, there hasn’t really been anything that’s been my first choice for entertainment when I’m bored.

I’ve recently checked out FrozenBubble on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a clone of the time-honoured Neo-Geo classic Bust-A-Move, and brings its “match 3″ gameplay to Android for free. This is definitely a good thing. I’m a big fan of puzzle games, so I’ve racked up a lot of time on this title. Surprisingly, this title’s been around in one way or another since 2002, making its first appearance on KDE; hopefully, this means the developers know what they’re doing.

Things I liked:

  • The interface and graphics. Things look great, there’s no slowdown and things cascade nicely when you hit just the right bubble.
  • Like I said above, the free price point. I mean, sometimes it’s a little annoying when someone ports a game and decides to charge for it; it’s great to see this developer
  • The (again) free level editor. Man, the ability to create, download and distribute map packs makes for a hell of a lot of replayability, and that’s something I can get behind. Games that don’t just fizzle out after an hour’s worth of playtime are games that have a valued spot on my Home Screen.
  • Touch screen AND keyboard controls. Both allow for different amounts of precision in different ways. Sometimes the keyboard shots get lined up better, but you can play faster by using the touchscreen.
  • Available for Android versions 1.5+, which covers a whole lot of phones.

Things I didn’t:

  • Touch screen controls really need to be simplified. At the moment you swipe along the bottom of the play area to aim, then tap above to shoot. However, sometimes I’ll swipe where I’m not supposed to, and as a result, I’ll fire a ball when I’d previously shot my last one. I think it isn’t really too much to ask to make a “swipe” motion conducive to aiming an a “tap” to firing, wherever it is on the screen.
  • The options have a nasty habit of resetting themselves when you’ve exited the game and re-entered. This means that music will resume playing and the “hurry up!” timer will be in effect each time you load the game. It’s kind of a pain in the ass.

All in all, you can’t argue with a game that’s free and has a truckload of replayability. FrozenBubble’s great to have around when you have nothing else to do, or need some time quickly. It’ll be interesting to see if the developers can port over the desktop version’s multiplayer, but that might be a little too much wishful thinking.

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Matt is a Toronto blogger who enjoys writing opinion columns about culture, comics and of course, Android. You can find more of Matt's work on his personal site.

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