Do you like playing with balls? Yeah! Now you can play with all the balls you want and it’s only $2.99! Sparkle 2, by 10tons Ltd, provides non-stop ball popping action… err, orb popping… err, let’s try marble popping action. Its predecessor was the popular and award-winning Sparkle, so does Sparkle 2 manage to live up to its proud legacy of marble-ous action?
The basic premise of the game is that there’s a chain of multicolored orbs moving along a track, much like Popcap’s Zuma, and you have to match and fire orbs of the same color to make them disappear and clear out the chain of orbs before it reaches a certain point. The player controls a sling shot-esque device to fire the orbs at the moving chain. The chain winds, curves, and circles all around, varying up each level and increasing the difficulty so that it’s not just like picking up a dead fish out of a barrel. Physics come into play here as well, since the chains will move at different speeds and you have to account for the distance from the slinger to the destination point and the speed and direction of the chain in order to actually get your balls in the right place. Otherwise, they get all out of whack and break up other color chains, leaving you to do some quick ball juggling and calculations to remedy the boo-boo. So, distance divided by time plus a mount of squirrel’s spit and size of the balls equals…hell, it’s not that hard. Just point at the orb chain and shoot them.
The creators packed a lot of quality in the game for it being an iOS title. The graphics are crisp, clean, and beautiful, with bright colors and even a thoughtful colorblind option to help differentiate the orbs for those who can’t see colors normally. The music is also top-notch, balancing relaxing tunes with just the right dose of awesomeness to keep you moving along on your epic orb-slinging journey.
Sparkle 2 has three different game modes -- Story, Survival, and Challenge, and over 90 levels to traverse. While the levels do exhibit a few different features, like varying the layout and number of orb chains to deal with, it’s all pretty similar, and in the end things can feel a bit repetitive. However, given the simple fun found in Sparkle 2, it’s not really a problem.
Sparkle 2 is an extremely gentle game (despite all the mentions of balls). Kids, elderly, the innocent and not-so-innocent at heart can enjoy this game without the slightest risk of corruption. It surpasses its predecessor with new special features, better graphics, and a great sound track. The price may seem a little steep for some, but paying up front allows you to have an uninterrupted, ad free, don’t have to wait 30 minutes for your next life to generate (cough, Candy Crush, cough cough), kind of time.