Spin Crazy Puts a New Spin on the Puzzle Shooter Genre

Price: $0.99    Score: 9/10   By Daniel BischoffSpin Crazy

Spin Crazy is a new puzzle shooter from Squiddle Games, but it also brings a new element to the genre.  Many will remember Bubble Bobble, a game featuring cute little dinosaurs that help the player shoot colored orbs at the top of the screen.  When three orbs are matched up, they fall from the ceiling.  The objective is to clear the map with as few shots as possible.  Spin Crazy takes that general premise and spins it around.

Literally, the map spins.  When you take your shot from the top of the screen, if the orb connects with the right side, the map will spin to the right, and if it connects on the left, then the map will spin to the left.  This adds a new “dimension” to the classic puzzle shooter genre in that, now instead of only clearing one plane of orbs, you’ll have a 360 degree map to clear from the center.

This twist does quite a bit to evolve the genre.  It allows the player to plan further ahead with their shots and it also offers a bit more strategy and finesse.  The strategy comes into play when the player has to consider whether or not they should put a shot on the core of the puzzle, or let the pieces stack up on them, potentially forcing the puzzle out of bounds.  The finesse comes into play when the player has to bounce shots off the screen’s boundaries in order to clear the puzzle as fast as possible.

Bounce shots are difficult, but extremely rewarding, and the scoring is generous too.  Spin Crazy rounds up your stats from each play session and also saves your all time best scores.  You’ll be able to see how many orbs you fired, how many orbs were tacked on because you didn’t clear the map fast enough, how many orbs you cleared and your hit ratio.  You’ll also be able track how many orbs you matched in a single shot, the most orbs you cleared in one shot, and your highest scoring shot.

There is only one game mode to play, but three separate difficulties to choose from.  There are only a few things I would like the developers to add, and they include a multiplayer mode, or at least some kind of global leader board.  Seeing how high you can score is fun, but unless there’s some competitive aspect, how is the player going to be motivated to keep trying to score higher and higher?  Squiggle Games could also try to add a more unique art style because the visuals don’t exactly match the caliber of the gameplay.

Nevertheless, Spin Crazy has been added to my regular rotation of games I play while waiting for the bus, class, movies, etc.  It’s a great time waster, but you can play for extended periods of time as well. At only $0.99 Spin Crazy is more than worth the price of admission.

Spin Crazy is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  It requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.

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