We have reviewed many iPhone puzzle games here at The Smartphone App Review, and not all of them are are worth your hard earned cash, so can Mooniz, an action orientated puzzle game, succeed in getting you to part with your money?
Well, the answer really depends on what you are looking for in a puzzle game.
If you are looking for a deep, mind bending game to sink hours into, then this game is not for you. If, however you are seeking something to have a quick blast of for a few minutes here and there, then Mooniz should be addictive and charming enough to be worth your while.
The Mooniz are little monsters from the moon, and you have to defend the Earth from them by touching clumps of three or more to remove them.
The action plays out on a single screen, and the Mooniz tumble down from the top of the screen to pile up along the bottom of the display. Touching clumps of them that are the same colour will remove all Mooniz of the same colour that are connected, and then more Mooniz will fall from on high to replace them.
If you remove a lot of Mooniz at the same time you earn stars, and it’s these stars that you have to collect to complete each level. It can be tough as the time limit is usually quite strict on each stage. Touch a group of less than three and they will be immovable until a medical Mooniz appears.
Perform well and you will earn coins to spend in game, and this proves to be important as you need coins to buy powerups- and these power ups are absolutely essential to progressing through the game.
These power ups range from grenades that change nearby Mooniz to the same colour, to time and score bonuses. You select three of the available upgrades before each play, and if you want more the game gives you a load every few hours for free, or you can buy more through an in-app purchase.
The developer has actually been intelligent with the use of the in app purchase of coins, because if you are a casual player you will probably find the supply from the free coin drop and what you earn in the levels more than sufficient to get by with, and really hardcore players can always spend real cash if they so choose.
When you have selected your power ups, they appear randomly after you clear a few large groups of Mooniz, and it’s here where the game really shines.
Mayhem ensues as you try to reach that star target and destroy screens of Mooniz, making tactical plans on the fly to attempt to get big groups together, and the action is fun and addictive. I just wish that the time limit wasn’t so strict. Adding even 20% to the timer would really give you a bit more breathing space, as the game can get a little frustrating on the higher stages.
The graphics are really nice, the Mooniz themselves have a lot of charm to them, and the jaunty tunes that accompany the action are well suited to the game. The level of presentation is excellent, with a few hidden Easter eggs to find. Try touching the Mooniz that appear on the edges of the menu screen!
There is a second game mode, called rush, that is even more frenetic and has it’s own bonus stages. Many puzzle games neglect to offer different modes, so it’s nice to see it included. Game Center leaderboards and Facebook score posting are both included and welcome.
The game is charming and addictive, but it can be frustrating to have to repeat stages again and again. A mode where you can replay unlocked stages would have been great.
Overall, this is definitely a game to play in short bursts. Ten minutes here and there instead of hours at a time, this is nonetheless a quality puzzle game.