Bust-A-Move type games are a dime a dozen in the App Store. So what can you do to make yours stand out? Turn the bubbles into cute little demon critters and have your character shoot from left-to-right instead of from down-to-up. Does it work in the new game Supermagical?

Gala Pocket makes an impressive App Store debut with this charming little beastly bubble popper. You play as Nina, a witch whose land is being invaded by magical creatures from the Underworld called Minix. Nina's evil witch sisters aren't helping matters, so it's up to Nina to stop her sisters and send the Minix back to where they came from.

The first thing you'll notice from Supermagical is how detailed and colorful the characters, playfields and game world is. If you play this on the new iPad, the amount of detail in the map area alone is pretty incredible. Move Nina along to various towns where she'll do battle against the approaching Minix. Nina will fire spells at her colorful opponents. Like Bust-A-Move, match three of the same color bubble (or Minix) to clear them from the playfield. You can use various spells and help from different warlocks in case you get stuck.

During the battle, coins and soda bottles will appear after you clear Minix from the board. Tap the screen to collect these items. Soda bottles are used in conjunction with the warlocks you have on your playfield. Each warlock has his/her own unique powerup. One will call his pet to push the Minix back, another will suck a certain color Minix back into the underworld, etc. You have six different warlocks to choose from, but they only become available as you progress in the game.

The game's charm isn't just on the battlefield, it's in the various puzzles and even on the map itself. Clear a board and three hidden cash bags are put on the map. Just a little something extra for you to do in-between levels. You can purchase items in the shop, like colored candy that you can use to replace the colored spell that you're supposed to fire next. Or buy items for a potion that you can make in your tower. Or visit Manuel and play his Match game or buy one of his mystery pinatas.

While Supermagical has a lot going for it, it also takes a step back in terms of challenging gameplay when compared to similar games. Boss fights are relegated to you answering the right questions from your evil witch sisters. Answer wrong and you fight a quick battle. Clear the board and go back to the questions. Answer them all right and you've defeated your sister. Yawn.

You also don't need to use the many powerups available to you if you're any good at aiming. Other boards require that you use nothing but powerups and warlocks to help you, which takes all of the fun out of the game. You also may not realize that you should go into each shop that pops up. Every shop sells different items and some are required to advance on the map.

Fans of bubble busters will enjoy what Supermagical has to offer. It's a fresh twist on a genre that has been getting a bit stale the last few years. But despite its charm, it can leave you feeling a bit disconnected from the the actual gameplay since it relies so heavily on assistance and powerup items. It's not a bad game by any means, I was just a little bored after a while. Hopefully it will be a more magical experience for you than it was for me.


App Store Link: Supermagical for iPhoneiPad | By Gala Pocket Inc. | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0.3 | 411 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating