Friday, November 25, 2016

Bubbles, Borders, and Bouncing: Color Dap iOS Ryview

Color Dap, by 10k Bulbs LLC.

Ryan's Rycommendation: A great game for people who love shooting colorful bubbles at other colorful bubbles. Also great for fans of classic arcade style gaming. Bad for people who want a storyline, plot, or complex texture graphics. But then why are you trying to do that on an iPhone?

Color Dap is a bit like Bust-A-Move (or Angry Birds Pop if you're not familiar with the Super Nintendo), but it has a bit of a different quirk. Rather than aiming at a set that's anchored on the top of the screen or around a middle, there are several sets of bubbles that exist around the playing field. These sets can also be bombarded and bounced to combine with other sets to have large explosions and so forth. But the core concept remains the same: clear colors by getting enough matching colors touching and then party.

The main gameplay revolves around matching 5 of the same color bubbles to make them pop (or 6 to get a rainbow dap that passes through obstacles), and doing that until the board is clear. This is achieved by shooting bubbles that load in your gun, all very standard to this gaming style. As I mentioned above though, the physics of this game set it apart from similar versions. When you shoot a set of bubbles, they hold together and slide with a bit of momentum. This sets up the major strategy of the game; it's possible to chain together multiple sets to blow them up together. In doing so, you're able to 3-star the level. If not, then it's not a particularly hard game until later levels, but you're left feeling incomplete.

The later levels do indeed get a little harder (or a lot harder, depending on how patient you are) [2]

The game has a fairly sizable amount of levels. The first 100 are free, then the next set costs in game currency, which you can buy or earn through watching ads after getting stars on a level. It's a pretty cool system because it means you can unlock it through progression is you're patient and willing to support the app through ads, or you can do it right away by paying. And there are achievements that give you a little premium currency as well. Good balance.

I do wish the app had a bit more of a tutorial to help you learn some of the finer points of the game. Figuring out how to bounce your shots and guide the bubble sets is a "learn by doing" kind of activity, and that can be a bit frustrating when you aren't given any strategy advice up front. And some of the trick shots to combine sets seem fairly difficult. Maybe I'm not hitting the right angles, but it seems like some of them are very hard to pull off properly. I also think it would be a major improvement to show the number of shots required for each star amount. Usually you're left guessing how much you have to improve to get that next star, which can be very frustrating (and might inhibit your ability to create a winning shot pattern).

Still, the game is very fun. I see a lot of potential in developing new obstacles and gimmicks to keep the levels fresh and exciting. As it is, it's already a pretty solid game. And every time new mechanics enter a level, I'm enjoying figuring out how to adapt.

I'd recommend the game to arcade style gamers. It's a great classic feeling app, and it's fun for a short play or for more extended grind sessions to eek out those 3-stars. Don't play it if you're looking for a scripted experience or anything like that. As I said, think an arcade style game. It does what it does very well.

Until next time,


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