First impressions review (I played this game for an hour)
3SwitcheD is a puzzle game that bears a striking resemblance to another popular puzzle title. My first thoughts before launching this were as follows:
“The term 'rip off' is thrown around a lot these days, but I don't know if you can really say that this is a clone of bejewelled. I mean after all, there have been gem matching games throughout all of my gaming history, the first one I remember playing was Columns on the Sega Mega Drive, and I am sure that there were arcade games before hand, let's not prejudge.”
Sadly though, this was not the case. It is incredibly similar to bejewelled, even down to the deep voiced male who complements you throughout the game and the futuristic flying through space theme. The developers knew exactly what they were doing.
Well actually lets be fair, the games it provides do have some differences....and indeed, this is where it falls down, the games are just unfortunately not as much fun, which is a real pity. The other difference it has is a head tracking feature which means as you move your head around it moves the puzzle around too, its a very interesting idea and I was quite impressed at first as we have draconian politicians at the moment who keep raising the tax on anything electronic and are trying to set up a firewall that would put China's in the shade meaning that I will probably never even see, let alone afford and Occulas Rift. However this doesn't seem to work properly, at all. It has a little view port at the top and it draws a box around where it thinks your head is, it couldnt make up its mind between my forehead and my left ear. I think this would work a lot better on a table......oh wait.... this is an ios port isn't it? Yes, I think it probably is.
Now I am not an elitist person, I don't care if the game was originally made for DOS, tablets, in rpg maker or ags. Whatever! But there does seem to be a lot of this IOS porting at the moment where it feels that hardly anything has been tweaked for the pc experience. I don't know how to feel about this, on the one hand its quite naughty as it is a touch lazy but as someone who refuses to have any apple, or indeed any kind of tablet in her house it is nice to get some of the games back, indeed there are a lot of the older genres that are happily thriving on tablet format and I would love to get my paws on that, so if I can avoid having to buy one to experience them then all the better! As to how you feel about it, well its up to you, thankfully this one has no real complicated gestures that are harder to reproduce with a mouse than your finger.
Ahh well, lets talk about the games.
Before I start I should say that the graphics and sounds are at least pretty nice. They're not quite to the standard of bejewelled but they are more than adequate. The pieces explode into nice looking particles and swoosh away, the gems tinkle oh you can imagine the sound effects, you know most developers all buy the same royalty free sound effects CD. There is an online scoreboard if you are into that sort of thing. I didn't submit my scores because it needs your email address for some strange reason. The music is nice and atmospheric, probably the best part of the game but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
There are six games that come with 3switcheD:
Personal high score: 459,000
This is the standard swap the gems around and try and make lines of 3 or more. Only objective is to get a high score. It's functional but you've played it before.
Personal high score: 792,000
This is the game where you have to click the gems that are connected together and all the same ones touching clear. It's a little easier than one you might play in flash as it brings in new gems from the edges when the end columns are empty. It's a little bit more strategic than the previous.
Personal high score: 713,000
This one is quite original, it plays a lot like the first one but when you start there are only the first 2 rows. Pieces then slowly fall down much like tetris, getting faster, if the entire board is filled and it tries to drop another one, its game over.
Personal high score: 191,680
In this game you need to click on a gem and click on the grid space that you want it to go, it will path towards that space. You need to arrange the gems into a 2 by 2 square to clear them. On the left hand side it will show you shapes to construct to try and gain bonus points. New pieces spawn automatically getting faster and faster. Like falling star if the grid fills its game over. Pieces can only path to their grid space if there are no other gems in the way.
Personal high score: 168,200
This game is identical to Moving 4-ward, only pieces fall after each move instead of automatically, also they removed the shapes. This game comes free with Debian OS if I recall correctly. That or its just been on my netbook for about as long as I installed it.
This is probably the best one of the bunch in terms of strategy.
Personal high score: 136,000
Probably the most original game. It's pretty much the same game as Clearing Clusters but you can swipe in 4 directions to change the gravity in order to create new clusters of gems.
The games, as you can see, are pretty standard to the puzzle genre and are a bit dull and tired these days. As far as I can tell that is it, there doesn't seem to be any unlocking to keep you playing unless you like high score grinding.
Here's the worst part of it though. It requires an online pass. Yes, you have to register it before you have to play it. I thought online passes were completely dead now. Especially since EA, arguably the evillest company in the entire industry, said that it is giving them up. If you are against DRM you should give this one a miss.
All in all though, I cannot recommend this. Even if you are a fan of the casual puzzle genre it is taken for granted that you have not only already played this but own a superior version. I am not someone who dislikes casual games but unfortunately there just isn't that layer of polish and quality and the core games are just far too generic and done before. I am sure that almost everyone has played every game on this list with the exception of gravity switch, there are freebie flash versions of these games all over the internet. Come on guys, for the PC crowd we need something new and entertaining, asking £7 for this is unacceptable. Ultimately a very meh experience.