iPhone Game Review: Decades
2/8/2010 3:06:00 PM
Organizing rotating blocks a la Tetris style is one thing. Decades
wants to push the challenge of the traditional style of block puzzle games further with the addition of some of hangman’s gameplay. Read on to see how this collaboration between gameplay works in the game itself.
In Decades, you’ll be attempting to match falling clunks of blocks together with the previously fallen blocks on the board. The goal is to keep your playing field as uncluttered as possible, while unlocking letters to the jeopardy questions at each round. Certain blocks will unlock letters or vowels, but specially indicated blocks also functions as other additives to the gameplay recipe. There are pesky blocks that refuse to leave, unless you set a bomb on them, bonuses, and even coffee cups that you’ll have to match together. The variety is seemingly endless, as is the selection of decades you can select from.
Each decade will ask you a question that pertains to the time period. However, if you’re not exactly an expert on the swing times of the 20s, you’ll also be privy to some hints that will be dropped as you break through the multi-colored blocks. By the end of the round you better hope the hints were revealing enough, or that your rotating skills were enough to get the most out of the question at hand.
The game is quaint looking with colorful backgrounds and suited to resemble the decade of choice. My only qualm with the game is that the speed at which the blocks drop is a tad overwhelming. I found myself desperately tapping away at the blocks, hoping to rotate and place them in the desired position before my limited 3 seconds was up.
It’s easy to rack up points, especially with chain reactions and contagious block disappearances. It’s also fun to test your knowledge of the decades, but I found while playing that I either had an overly healthy amount of hints and letters filled in, or not a single clue as to what the answer could be. This is due to new puzzle rounds continuing off the same playing board within the decade. If your board is filled with a compilation of blocks after the first round of the 1950s, you’ll find it quite hard to make them all disappear quickly enough to start having a playing chance at filling in the blanks of the next round’s question. This is where your small windows of opportunity to reorganize your falling blocks as you see fit gets to be a hasty hassle. There will definitely be some adapting involved to be able to progress through the plentiful levels you are given.
Although the idea is in the right place – the idea of Tetris with a bit more motivation and new goals in mind – the execution could use a few tweaks. Especially with such a small board to place your blocks, it seems that the horde of oncoming blocks and rounds within each decade overwhelms the gameplay.
GamingNexus Grade: B+