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iPhone Game Review: Vempire

Posted by: Tina at 11/21/2009 12:56 PM
I am always for a good puzzle game, especially on the go, and Vempire is loads of fun. It’s a basic match of similar blocks to gather points and race against time. As simple as the gameplay is – i.e. twist the blocks and learn the movement of rotating a square of four blocks – there are also interesting additions that keep gameplay exciting and unique.

For one thing, the blocks represent significant items. Collecting the gold blocks gives you money that enables you to buy minions that you can call upon in-game to destroy more blocks. Some of these blocks also represent mana, and destroying them in a particular sequence will let you summon the minions that you have bought.

Each world contains three levels, and when you complete the three of them you will gain access to the bonus round. Completing the bonus round wins you artefacts. These artefacts function as power-ups and will perform various actions to help you clear the level. To be used, they also must be summoned by clearing blocks in a particular sequence.

While you do race against the time, there’s another factor to keep in mind. The interface contains a tube that fills with purple liquid, and once that tube is filled completely, you’re in for a boss round. Each boss behaves differently, but in general will cloud your vision in some form.

These aspects kept the game interesting, and each new level includes new types of blocks to play with. My only complaint was that the interface was incredibly cluttered and not very intuitive. Even to start a round I had to get the hang of a small arrow on the lower right hand corner as the start button. Shouldn't the start button be some obnoxiously huge and blatantly clear indicator? The interface of the actual game rounds are meant to give you information like which artifacts you’ve summoned, time, money you’ve collected, and all the others kinds of information you’d be looking for. The only problem is that I wasn’t exactly looking or taking my eyes off the blocks for a moment to gauge the situation. Fortunately, if you like playing your iPhone games with your headphones in, the sounds do help a bit.

I also wish there was more instruction as to how the artifacts and minions work, rather than playing the game through a few levels to figure it out myself. This game relies on puzzle skills, but also strategy skills and I didn’t feel like I had the tools up front for making my own strategy.

All in all, this game is a lot of fun but not without it’s flaws. If you’re a puzzle fanatic and like the idea of the extra strategy involved, I would say go for it. 40 levels, 10 enemies, 9 artefacts, 6 minions: this game definitely keeps the puzzle genre interesting.

Vempire: $0.99