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Sparkle HD – iOS

Sparkle HD – iOS

sparkle HD coverPlatform: iOS (reviewed on iPad)

Developers: Myth People: Tero Alatalo; Sampo Toyss

Publisher: 10tons Ltd

Release Date (NA): 2011

Genre: marble shooter, casual

Nerd Rating: 9 out of 10

Similar games: Fireball, Luxor

Reviewed by Brazil75

As in all marble shooting games, the aim in Sparkle HD is to shoot colored marbles in the midst of a moving line of similar marbles. You must reduce that string of ever increasing marbles to zero before it reaches the end point -usually plunging in a hole, which means game over- This is achieved by just tapping the point you want to hit with the specific colored marble coming out of one or more devices.

You always get a hint of what color is going to come out. Your goal is to place each new marble next or in the middle of color matching marbles in the moving line. Sometimes the line will slow down or stop to throw you off your game, it may even reverse with some power-ups (tricky ones but they can be useful when you are literally at the end of your rope!) Each time you add a marble to a similar group of marbles of 2 or more, it erases the group. The larger that group is, the more rewards you get. You may choose to “bait” your line at first, by adding a second element to all or some of the single ones in order to create a chain reaction as you finally add the “bombing” marble to a center group with other colors in mirrored order on each side.

You can get a very sweet “everything blows up” effect. You collect power-ups each time you erase marbles 3 times in a row.

In this game, power-ups have a short life span and have to be shot in order to take effect (one time use for each appearance.) Sometimes you have to give them up because of their hard to reach position. Each time your aim fails, instead of shrinking your line you are making it longer and success will be that much harder to reach.

sparkle HD

The music of Sparkle HD is rather special and the graphics are top notch. This game used to have a couple of impassable levels but over the last updates it has been simplified on the easy mode so that everyone with a little patience can finish the game.

You can opt to play in expert or master mode if you are a pro.

There is a nice story thread, just light enough not to interfere with the game. There are 75 levels available to explore the whole map, then about 25 more to return to your starting point. The return is slightly more difficult than the first time around but hopefully you will have racked up quite a few extra lives by then so you should be able to reach that last level. Along the way you collect magic amulets which you can use or drop at your discretion, they do not wear out. Some of them are more helpful than others, it depends on your gameplay and on the level. When you reach the end of your return journey you are rewarded by an eternal amulet. You will never lose a life again in the game if you choose to use it. It comes in handy in expert or master mode when you run into a more challenging level and find yourself in a pickle.

The developers have been sensitive to the color blind issue of some players and this game is one of the first to offer a color blind mode! Kudos for the effort! Furthermore to enhance the game, they offer a Challenging and a Survival spin off of the game as well. Really adds some intensity!

sparkle-hd
Overall, this game is one of the best in the genre.

The appeal of Sparkle HD is in its subtle mix of simplicity (or rather appearance of) and sophistication.
It is a very beautifully crafted marble shooting game – without ads (thank you developers) – and with no ambition of being anything else. One major negative for Sparkle HD is many times in the past, I have lost all of my progress with each update, so beware of that. If you are looking for a game with a little bit of marble shooting, a little bit of matching three, a little bit of puzzle and a little bit of role playing too, with an in-app purchase to materialize a bowl of pop corn, this is not the game for you.

For all the others, if you have to pick a single marble shooting game, this is the one to have.

Reviewed by Brazil75

Written by Nerd Bacon

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  1. Pingback: Fireball - iOS - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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