Category: color-matching puzzle games
Price: $2.99 (sale) / $4.99 (regular)
App Store Link: [Full] / Lite Version Coming Soon
Review: Like it
Recommendation: An interesting twist on color-matching puzzle games; worth it for the one-device, two-player mode.
Replay Value: High
Dapple is a new take on the standard match-3 (or in this case match-4) puzzle game along the lines of Bejeweled and Puzzle Quest. However, instead of simply swapping gems, game play consists of removing colored paint blobs from the board by mixing paint colors together to create new colors (e.g. mixing red paint with a blue blob will make a purple blob).
At the beginning of each turn, players are given a random paint color on their paint brush. Players can then double tap a blob to mix it (and all connecting blobs of the same color) into a different color. If the new-colored blobs touch 3 or more blobs of the same color, they are removed from board and new blobs drop down. As blobs are removed, a progress bar is filled; when the bar is completely filled, players advance to the next level. The concept is actually very simple and easy to pick-up. To add a little bit of depth to the game, there are 2 types of power ups and 1 obstacle blob players can encounter. The "water drop" power-up destroys all adjacent blobs when it is triggered, and the "diamond" power-up destroys all blobs on the board of the same color when it is triggered. Brown-blobs of paint serve as obstacles; they're color cannot be altered (though they can be removed from the board by matching them with paint blobs the color of their visible core).
The game has 3 modes of play: Classic, Timed, and Versus, and it's the relatively unique Versus mode that makes this app really shine. Versus mode is played with one device. Opponents are given one standard-sized, shared game board, but can only make moves on their designated half. Players take turns making matches, and every time a player makes enough matches to fill his or her progress bar, they gain control control of an additional row of the board. the object is to take control of the entire board, or force your opponent into a position in which they have no more moves on their side of the board. This, in my opinion, was by far the most addicting part of the app.
Overall, Dapple is very similar to other color-match games, but offers a few new twists. If you're a fan of the genre and always looking for something new, you might enjoy this app. If you're sick of the genre, Classic and Timed mode probably won't offer you enough variation from other color-match games; the unique play-and-pass Versus Mode however still might be reason enough to buy the app. It's nice to find a few games out there with play-and-pass Versus Mode for when you're hanging-out with your less trendy, iPhone deficient friends.
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What we'd like to see in future updates: 1-player versus mode competing against AI (this is the games strongest feature; utilize it!); more power-ups (especially in versus mode); more obstacles; more mode variations; anything else to make gameplay slightly more unique and exciting at higher levels.