What do you take when you take Tetris and Boggle, and then
you mash them together into one game?
You get Puzzlejuice. Makes me wonder where the “juice” part
came from, doesn’t it?
Anyways, Puzzlejuice is a mixture of Tetris, match-3, and
Boggle into one entirely new type of game, and you’ll be surprised at exactly
how well that delivers.
When you first begin a game, you’ve got an empty screen. As
Tetris pieces fall, it’s your job to rotate and position the pieces to obtain a
full line of blocks horizontally. You’re able to tap to rotate, drag to
position left and right, and flick to hard drop. However, instead of being able
to clear line, that line turns into a line of letters, which then can be
cleared by creating words by connecting letters in all 8 directions. If the
word is long enough, you’ll also destroy any adjacent blocks. In addition to
this, each individual block has a color. By tapping a group of 3 blocks with
matching colors, you’re able to turn those blocks into letters also. Most of
these mechanics work extremely well. There are a few times where you’ll drag
and misspell a word, or accidentally rotate a piece you didn’t want to, but for
the most part, the game’s controls work without too much flaw. I do wish there
was an option to rotate your piece both ways; hopefully this gets implemented
in the future.
Also, there are unlockable powerups for you to us once you
complete certain achievements. These powerups are extremely helpful in getting
you out of a jam or aiding you to score more points. But the icing on the cake
is the combo system; there’s a clear timer that indicates when your combo will
revert back to x0, and whenever you spell a word, tap a match-3, or create a
new line, your combo’s timer resets. This combo system is what keeps the game
more than just any leisure game, because it makes Puzzlejuice a thrilling game
that keep you on your toes.
I’ve never been more impressed with how Puzzlejuice presents
itself. From odd names for modes to calling the “exit” button “rage quit”,
Puzzlejuice separates itself from other games by giving itself a punchy personality.
In addition, everything is in the menu extremely easy to navigate as well as
being two different difficulties, Hard Mode (which is actually easy) and Euro Extreme
Mode (which is the standard mode) making this game simple for anybody to access.
Clean. Fresh. Those are the words that come to my mind when
I think of Puzzlejuice’s art style. Everything is crystal clear and is animated
to near perfection. There have been a few instances of slow-down during the
game, this has only occurred at the beginning for me, and thus has not posed
any major issue.
Puzzlejuice’s soundtrack is creative and relaxing; it fits
perfectly with its personality and art style and the sound design lets your
satisfaction known when those words are clear or that bomb explodes. Straight
up: It’s good.
Puzzlejuice offers two main modes: Core Mode (standard gameplay) the Zen Mode, which really isn’t Zen at all. It’s the quickplay mode, as
you’ve got 90 seconds to score as many points as possible. If you consider the
addictive gameplay, then tack on the flexibility to play Puzzlejuice for any
extended period of time, or a quick 90 second session, I see no reason why this
game will not last.
Puzzlejuice is a delicious melting pot of classic puzzle
games. With its strong gameplay and personality, I see no reason why anybody
would pass upon this game. There are a few nitpicks that keep it from receiving
a perfect score, but I’ll let you know that it was extremely close to receiving one.
Nonetheless, there’s no reason not to purchase this fantastic puzzler.