|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: MacPlay||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Mumbo-Jumbo Release: Oct. 30||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Players: 1-4||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Review by Joseph Catalanotto||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
Puzzle games, while not the deepest video game genre, have nevertheless remained one of my favorites over the many years I've been gaming. Why? Something about their addictive nature, simplistic gameplay, and ungodly replay value has always kept me coming back for more. So when Super Collapse! 3, based on a popular click-style PC game, was released for the DS, could I really help playing it?
Nope, absolutely not. And I've gotta say, I'm quite impressed. It's really easy for puzzle games to dip down into the category of mediocrity; after all, there are so many puzzle ideas that have been rehashed countless times. Yet, despite all that, Super Collapse! 3 actually manages to stay relatively fun and fresh. If you've ever played a click puzzle game online, then you've got a very good idea already how Super Collapse! 3 works. Blocks fill up on the bottom screen; when there's a group of three or more like-colored blocks, you can click it and it will disappear. The more blocks that you vanish with one tap, the more points you earn.
But the gameplay system is far deeper than just that. The puzzles, for the most part, are constantly growing. At the bottom, off of the feasible game screen, is a meter the width of the game screen. When the meter is full of blocks, those blocks will suddenly pop up on the bottom of your current stack, pushing the entire pile up one line. The rate of this meter varies depending on the puzzle that you're playing; sometimes the meter will fill up at a snail's pace, while at other times the meter will fill completely every time you tap the screen. It adds a nice bit of variety to the puzzles and keeps things fresh and interesting.
Once you master the basic concept of Super Collapse! 3 (which admittedly is a very simple thing to do), there is actually quite a bit of strategy present in the game. Especially as you progress in the game and the levels get much more difficult, you've got to strategize to set up the more rewarding combinations and ensure that you don't fail the level. The gameplay mechanic is simple to grasp, but there's actually a good bit of depth to it -- and that's how a good puzzle game is made.
There are also a number of different modes to this game. The most fun mode is probably Quest Mode; in this mode, you go from area to area simply clearing puzzles. While there's nothing really quest-related at all to it, it's fun to play the puzzles in a progression with some sort of predetermined purpose. You collect coins as you go along, with each world offering more and more coins for completed puzzles. Coins can then be cashed in at stores along the way.
Present at these stores are, as you might guess, a myriad of items for you to purchase. While there's actually a decent bit of variety present in the selection, a lot of them just feel kind of tacked on. The bombs, however, are a staple of Super Collapse games, and actually are pretty fun to use. If, for example, a red colored bomb pops up, tap it and all the red blocks disappear. This can be really useful if you're swamped in blocks and you quickly need to clear some space to work or just to create some feasible combos.
Other items, while somewhat interesting, just don't affect gameplay all that much. One item speeds up the rate of the meter temporarily. While this can be detrimental at some times, at other times it can actually be useful -- for example, when you're trying to get more blocks on the screen to set up a large combination. Other items switch around the order of blocks or perform tons of other different random actions. They're kind of neat, but they're not at all critical for gameplay, and the game would be just as fun without them.