Polyform Review (iOS)
Polyform's title screen is a wonderful reminder of the world's past fixation with the Rubik's Cube, but thankfully the game doesn't rely on nostalgia. If you're looking for a three-dimensional, match-3 style experience, Polyform is up to the task.
The gameplay is pure and simple, as multi-colored cubes arbitrarily floating in space are to be destroyed with the swipe of your finger. Instead of matching three same-colored blocks, you must match four same-colored blocks to wipe them off the face of the universe. Instead of mixing and matching existing blocks within the cube, each turn will introduce a completely new block into the equation. The key is to successfully integrate these additions into your puzzle while clearing as many of the blocks as possible.
Within each level, you have three different time trials to beat the puzzle. If you switch your difficulty level to easy mode, more time will be added to the clock to eliminate the cube. The race against the clock effect infuses Polyform with a welcome sense of urgency, as gamers don't have enough time to randomly place a block on the cube. Each of your moves must be a strategic one, as having random blocks while time is expiring will surely spell your doom.
Polyform's main strength centers on its 3D puzzle play. With the slide of a finger, you can move the cube around to gain an accurate view of the cube, and place each new block into its proper position. Seeing a cube hollowed or spread out gives the match-three genre some much needed visual breadth. While it's great having a ton of bomb power-ups and beautiful sound effects to amplify a two-dimensional puzzler, those kind of extras are not mandatory for Polyform. Although there are blocks that have certain abilities (i.e. some can clear a whole slew of blocks if perfectly matched), Polyform is a no-frills, hypnotic puzzler that kept me glued to my iPad for over a couple of hours.
What keeps Polyform from achieving stratospheric greatness are the subtle details. Although the game's electronic score perfectly suits the gameplay and overall ambience, a slight variation on the music as one progressed through each level would have made a world of difference. Halfway through the game's 30 levels, I'm still listening to the same musical beats, and even though the actual puzzle playing is addicting, a deeper attention to Polyform's soundscape would have completely won me over.
Music complaints aside, I'm still caught up by the beautiful cubes that are on display in Polyform's universe, and watching the cubes move in different directions as I obliterate blocks to my heart's content is always a wonderful sight to see.
Priced at a reasonable $2.99, Polyform delivers a solid three-match puzzle experience, giving gamers a visually spellbinding and intriguing take on a well worn genre. The title functions as a pleasurable pick-up-and-play app or as a fully immersive adventure. I wish the music had a bit more punch and verve, but Polyform hits other notes that are definitely worth playing.
This review is based on a code provided by the publisher of Polyform for iOS.