Many a time in the world of mobile gaming, I’ve stumbled across an app that represents a good idea, poorly executed, whether it’s due to a lack of funds, or staff, or skill, or patience, or some combination of the above.
Aleksei Kalinin’s JELLIES! is almost the opposite, as the big chap takes a fairly unremarkable concept, and polishes it to within an inch of its life. Any good? Answer below.
Our JELLIES! protagonist is Bob the Fisherman, who unfortunately lost all four fingers to jellyfish when he naively dangled his hand over the side of his boat. In order to get them back, we have to, er, match jellyfish.
In JELLIES!’ single mode (unless you fancy paying a further 69p to unlock the arguably pointless Endless mode), you have 60 seconds to match jellies of the same colour, by drawing a line between them on your iPhone or iPad.
Lines can’t be drawn between two jellies if a jelly of a different colour exists between the pair, though extra pointage is up for grabs if you manage to link back to the first jelly – effectively drawing some sort of shape, be it a triangle, square, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon…
There are three power-ups in JELLIES!, specifically a bomb, a slow-down thingy, and a third that launches a minigame in which you’re tasked with swiping the screen dead fast.
And that’s JELLIES! in a nutshell. Good news or bad news first? Let’s go for bad and finish on a high.
Ok, as I mentioned, there’s only one game mode (though “Battles” is coming soon), and resultantly it gets a bit samey after a while.
There are only seven missions, too, and two of those involve starting a game and doing this for 60 seconds: nothing. Missions are good for earning big chunks of cash, with which you can buy the aforementioned power-ups, so the lack thereof is a bit of a bummer.
Speaking of power-ups, the easy way to beat your high score is to store a big whack and unleash them all in one 60-second round. But that renders the games in between rather dull.
Oh, and one final gripe, you can actually pay real money to speed things along, which means progress is inherently tailored to drive you towards unleashing your wallet. Y’know, otherwise the IAPs wouldn’t exist.
On the plus side, JELLIES! is insanely bright, and the in-game social network, InstaBob, actually made me chuckle a couple of times. #havenofingersanymore
On the whole, JELLIES! is pretty enjoyable, recalling Ridiculous Fishing at points, though the core gameplay isn’t quite as compelling.
- Bright as heck
- Three varied power-ups
- Only one game mode
- Slow progress once you’ve completed the missions
- IAPs on top of the £1.49 entry fee
Summary: JELLIES! is a whole lot better than it ought to be, and I suspect the join-the-jellies fun will demand a revisit once it’s been updated; we’re promised more game modes and more missions.
Developer: Aleksei Kalinin
Price: £1.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.