Anyone who’s spent any amount of time surfing the App Store knows that it’s saturated with Match-3 games. From Bejeweled to Gemmed!, we iGamers have seen our fair share of Match-3’s. So when a new, fun, innovative Match-3 such as Steamballs comes along, I’d say it’s definitely cause for puzzle addicts everywhere to get excited.
What makes Steamballs so different? To start, the balls are weighted. The user drops pool balls from the top of the screen onto four scales at the bottom of the screen. The scales are then tipped and equalized by the weight of the balls, which are equal to their number (a 4 ball has a weight of four, etc.). This makes the game much more challenging because the positioning of the balls is always changing based on how the scales tip.
The user must use strategy to make sure the scales are tipped so that the balls line up the way he wants them lined up. When three balls of the same color are lined up horizontally, the user gets points and the balls disappear. You lose when a column gets filled with balls and is unable to be used any longer. The game is high-score based, so it goes on forever, increasing in difficulty by adding different colored balls, up to a total of 14 different colors.
Add this weight feature with an awesome soundtrack, great graphics, Open Feint support with 30 different achievements, plus 12 special balls with unique abilities to add even more strategy to the game, and you’ve got one exceptional Match-3. I’d say Steamballs is definitely the most difficult Match-3 I’ve ever played, so for anyone looking for a challenge, look no further. Even the way the balls come into play takes strategy. ‘-
You can choose which column you want to drop your ball in, but you must receive your next ball from the column you dropped it in. There’s so much strategy involved to get a good high score that your brain is sure to get wrinkled and you’re sure to get hooked. I have very few complaints for this one- my biggest would have to be that it has no landscape mode. I also wish there was an interactive tutorial for first timers, instead of just instructions. Games can last a while but there’s an auto-save feature, so Steamballs is great to pick up and work on in short bursts.
Steamballs is currently on sale for a dollar, and well worth the price, if you’re a real Match-3 fan. I don’t think this game is for everyone- it’s tough to get the hang of and you definitely have to use your head while playing. I can guarantee you, however, that once you fully grasp the gameplay you’ll get more than enough enjoyment out of it to say it was worth your dollar.
It’s a pretty laid back game with no timer or anything, so you can take your time and get the best score possible. If you’ve been looking for a quality Match-3 and you’re up for the challenge, I’d recommend checking out Steamballs. It looks great, it sounds great, it plays great and it’s got Open Feint. It’s such a polished, unique, feature filled game it’s tough to pass this one up.