KooZac - $0.99
Square Enix, a developer that is known for bringing some of the biggest and most ambitious titles to the App Store, rarely meddles with the standard pricing chart. From the various Final Fantasy titles to the iOS exclusive Chaos Rings series, a Square Enix game won't come cheaply. So when a casual game came out last week for $0.99, I was perplexed by their decision to try this new market instead of staying put in the area they are currently dominating.
KooZac takes on the classic brick falling system of games such as Tetris and removes the shapes and replaces it with numbers. Such a simple change makes for some exciting gameplay that had my brain working harder than even the most intense Tetris sessions. There is also three game modes with endless play taking a backseat to the standard mode with levels of increasing difficulty that are popular on the iOS platform. Those with Facebook can also access Blitz which pits you against your friends. All are great modes that do well to offer up their own unique take on the KooZac formula.
The aim of Koozac in puzzle mode is to clear the board of all the blocks that had already been placed prior to the level beginning. These are removed by placing blocks directly on top of them that add up to a designated number that changes after every move. You will be required to stack multiple blocks on top to equal the number and as levels progress in difficulty you will need to keep an eye on the cumulative number on towers. As blocks come at faster intervals and you have more on the screen it becomes a real micromanagement game as you quickly add up numbers to see if any tower will be cleared with your current move. Looking ahead to future numbers and targets is also needed for success, even if it is hard given the time restraints.
Finishing levels in a shorter amount of time will lead to more points which encourages replaying of levels. Of course, if you make your way through the entire puzzle mode and still are wanting for something more than there is always the endless mode to sink your teeth into. This mode removes the designated blocks to remove and instead gives you an empty slate to stick your teeth into as long as you can keep the blocks under the top bar. This mode does take a while and I don't find it as rewarding as the objective based levels, but those who truly love the KooZac formula will crave this mode.
Those who like the endless style but don't like the slow pacing brought with it will be better off logging onto Facebook and playing Blitz mode. This mode is essentially endless, but it lasts for 60 seconds only and blocks continually pop up from the bottom as well to create some fast paced, frantic action. It is a lot of fun to play and creates added pressure to quickly add up numbers.
The graphics are slick and while the touch controls aren't always as precise as you want them to be once the gameplay gets frantic, you shouldn't encounter many issues. This is an easy game for anyone to pick up and play right from the word go. Some future additions I'd like to see include a hardcore mode that maybe use multiplication and other methods either with addition or as a standalone thing. Those who want to take it to the next level could be tempted to return to this game for a whole new set of challenges in future updates.
For $0.99 you now expect to receive a fairly comprehensive package that will keep you coming back for more. KooZac does this with a strong emphasis on education while also keeping it addicting with this new, unique gameplay. Fans of Tetris or games that require fast decisions will absolutely love KooZac and shouldn't hesitate to pick up this game from the App Store.
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Tetris