Backflip is easily one of my favourite mobile developers, alongside Gameloft. While the latter pays shameless homage to the likes of Halo and Burnout, Backflip specialises in making games that are miles better than they ought to be.
And just what is said stupidly simple concept? Well, it’s a match-four thingy. Don’t run away just yet; I too feel like I’ve had more than my fill of match games, but I really enjoyed Shape Shift.
In Shape Shift, the playing area is a 7x9 grid of coloured squares, each with a shape cut in the middle. You can switch squares if they hold the same shape, and the aim to match four or more of the same colour. Simple.
Shape Shift mixes things up a little with bombs, which must be defused within a certain number of moves. You simply have to include the bomb in a set of four (or more) matched squares. Fairly standard “match” stuff, admittedly.
Incidentally, there’s no time limit in Shape Shift. As such, there’s no sense of urgency whatsoever; you can ponder your next move ad infinitum.
It’s all part of the laid back feel of Shape Shift, which features an incredibly absorbing ambient soundtrack. Zen mode actually removes the bombs completely, so the game literally never ends; there’s no way to “die” as such.
My only gripe is that Shape Shift is too easy. In the Normal game I often found myself praying (not literally) for a bomb, just to add a little excitement. As you progress, the bombs appear in greater numbers, but they’re all too easy to get rid of.
Occasionally you’ll find yourself having to plan ahead a few moves to take out multiple bombs, but more often you can switch blocks around at a leisurely pace. And just as things start to get a little hectic, you’ll invariably meet the target score and start afresh on the next level.
There’s no difficulty setting either. Poo.
As with Backflip’s other free titles, you can pay (now) 69p to get rid of the ads. Or, if like me you’re using an iPod touch, you can simply turn off Wi-Fi. Mwahaha.
- Oddly compelling
- Absorbing soundtrack
- Two game modes
- Too easy
- No difficulty setting
Summary: Classic Backflip fare. It’s a typical match game and should be rubbish, but it’s pretty good. How do you do it, Backflip?
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: free @ App Store