The hills are literally alive with Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away!, and unfortunately, their smiles are gone after a mountain explosion. Different blocks have surfaced from Mount Majestic's eruption, thus putting a damper on their spirits. Before you head out on your rescue mission, are these hills truly worth saving, or is this app a creative bomb to avoid?

Don't expect a fancy tutorial to aid your quest, as Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away has a learning curve of just several seconds. With each level, a select number of blocks are blocking the hills' path, and they can only happy until their surface is devoid of these hindrances.

Each level is completed once you move the blocks out of their way through the use of bombs. Certain bombs have the ability to destroy blocks, but most of the time they will be employed to push them out of the way. Extra stars are earned when you destroy all the blocks and if you clear the stage with the least number of bombs possible. At this level, my yellow hills is in a cheery mood, and now I have three bombs left to use for the green hill.

Setting off bombs and moving blocks is not as easy as it sounds, since successfully completing a level requires proper use of your weapons and a precise calculation on how these blocks will set off a chain reaction. At this current stage, I'm aiming my bomb at a wooden block, as it will then move to the fire and hopefully fly towards another wooden block, thereby setting it afire. I have four bombs left to pull off the level, and even if I succeed at destroying all the blocks and keeping my hills happy, I'll only earn two out of three stars since I used up all of my arsenal.

Another nuanced aspect behind the game is learning how each block responds to the elements. Stone blocks can be broken by specific bombs or after being submerged in water, while throwing wood into fire is always a great idea. Other blocks are armed with spikes, and they are utilized to pop a pink object that's essentially a block/balloon hybrid. Physics puzzlers have a tendency to get monotonous after the first several stages, but thanks to the variety of options featured in the app, Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away is really hard to put down. Even if I'm in the middle of a sweltering desert, I'm more than happy to sweat it out.

With 160 challenges and a host of upgrade and power ups in the offing, Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! is a great deal for just a $0.99 download. Once you plunk down your cash, each section can be unlocked by your own hard work, and no further in-game app purchase is truly needed to enjoy the title. It's a diverting way of passing the time on your respective device, and although it doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel, Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! succeeds as a solid puzzler. There are peaks and valleys we face in this world, but at least in our iOS lives we can conquer a few hills one bomb at a time.


App Store Link: Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away for iPhone & iPad | By dreamfab GmbH & Co. KG | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.2.4 | 46.1 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating