Just when I thought I’d had enough of App Store puzzlers – cue Al Pacino voice – something comes along and – cue Al Pacino voice – they pull me back in. Globulous, the first offering from Canadian indie Firestarter Games, an awesome take on the popular elements of the genre, removing the boring 2D flatness of old games like Tetris and forcing players to think more outside of the ‘blocks’.
Each of Globulous‘s 49 levels present players with a 3D puzzle of the same Tetris-style blocks we all know and love. The goal is open a hole in the blocks big enough to remove the prize waiting in the center by creating strings of three or more of the same shape, either by pushing around blocks that are already there, or laying new down new ones – and of course racking up the highest score possible along the way.
It certainly takes a little getting used to the controls, which are a mix of tap, touch and drag to move and add elements to the ball-shaped puzzle. But the tutorial levels are quite simple, and provide enough helpful tips to draw players into the game. The second chapter is where the game really takes off, bringing in puzzles with multiple layers, forces of gravity, and short timers to ensure the game is moving a breakneck pace.
Globulous also nails an important and often-overlooked aspect of puzzlers: a great soundtrack. The music created by Zircon and Jeff Ball is simply fantastic, a mix between the up-beat techno melodies of popular new-age puzzlers, and the relaxing string-based aesthetics of more classic titles. The result is a very atmospheric mix of string arrangements and electronica stylings, perfect for the puzzle-spinning action of the game. The soundtrack is available here, and is absolutely worth a listen.
There are a lot of puzzle games in the App Store, but there aren’t many boasting the combination of personality – like the descriptions of the prizes at the center of each puzzle – gameplay, and aesthetics Globulous contains. This addictive puzzler is a must-buy for any fans of the genre; it’s a breath of fresh air among the clones and retreads seen far too often on iOS.