As a kid, I remember endless adventures to the local swimming hole, which undoubtedly ended up with a little bit of swimming and a lot of searching for little creatures, mostly frogs. Now, living in an area where there is more rain than sunshine, I’m more interested in finding indoor activities that deal with frogs, like EA’s newest app Liqua Pop for the iPhone.
If you are at all familiar with the match-three genre, you already know that it has been inundated with countless fails over the years so my reluctance to review Liqua Pop was a bit elevated.
Fortunately, I went ahead with trying it out and found that its eye-catching—borderline psychedelic—graphics combined with its progressively intense gameplay were not only fun, but very addictive.
Liqua Pop, while organized and presented as a match-three puzzler, is anything but the ordinary connect style. After loading the game on your iPhone, you can immediately start gameplay if you’re not interested in the social aspect of sharing scores with friends. If you are of the voyeuristic type, the app features integrated social connections so you can connect with Facebook to share your best times, and track them on daily and all-time leaderboards. All you do is click on options and enter your Facebook login information. Simple and easy.
Your basic role is to help Toadie the Frog, the in-game character on the left of the screen, get to the top of the leaf to enjoy a delicious drop of water by popping matching color droplets. You do this by dragging them together and clear the way for Toadie. To pop the droplets and advance Toadie up the vine, you’ll need to drag droplets together until they burst. Of course, you have to match the same colors to clear the screen before time runs out or else everything will overflow and then it’s game over.
You’ll play through Toadie’s liquid world, which consists of a variety of eight stunning natural environments with authentic ambient sounds and high-end graphics of the Retina Display. As you progress through the game, you’ll be introduced to seven different types of bugs waiting to be released from within the droplets. Let them out and they can help you get Toadie to the next level.
A few include a regular lady bug that adds extra bonus points to your score, a bomb lady bug that explodes and bursts droplets around it as well as a color changing lady bug that when popped turns all the droplets around you into one color. This is hugely helpful when the screen is about to fill up.
But what match-three is complete without a few bad bugs. Yes, the game also has a few of them that leave obstacles behind and hinder your progress.
With good authority and in conclusion, I can recommend this as a must buy, especially for those of you who are looking for a refreshing match-three puzzler that not only offers a visually enticing gameplay, but also delivers on the challenging side of the game and provides hours of fun.
Liqua Pop has no ESRB rating. The app can be downloaded from the Apple app store.
Article first published as iPhone Game Review: Liqua Pop on Blogcritics.