Sigma Converts Classic Concept into Modern Match-3

Price: $.99*   Score: 9/10   By Anna PapachristosSigma

When developers decide to take a classic game concept and usher it into the 21st century, the final product can only be considered one of two things – an improvement or murder.  And, though the killing of classic concepts is the most common result, once in a while, some developers actually manage to magically turn today’s overabundant technological advancements into a newly invigorated gem, as with Sigma by BigStack Studios.

People have been playing color-matching block games since the beginning of time.  (Yes, that was a vast exaggeration, but you get the idea.)  As a modern take on the Match 3 game concept, Sigma‘s multi-touch capability allows users to move two separate block columns simultaneously.  As you spin and tap, blocks from both sides of the screen are shot back and forth.  When a match has been created, users only have a moment to tag additional blocks to the cluster before it explodes.  Clearing massive block clusters will help you earn more points and gain power ups.  Plus, match the same color repeatedly to create an increasing point multiplier.

Upon startup, users are immediately asked whether they would like to enable Sigma’s sounds or not.  Tap the ‘X’ for no and the check mark for yes.  On the home screen, the gear icon in the bottom left corner of the screen allows users to adjust the music and sound effects volume, or they may choose to play their own music during game play.  Also, the developer’s have included the wonderfully thoughtful option of choosing the Color Blind mode option, meaning even those who tend to steer clear of color-oriented games because of their disability can get in on the action.

By tapping on the ‘?’ icon in the bottom right corner, users will find all the instructions necessary to help them get the hang of the game under the ‘Basics’ tab.    The ‘Power Ups’ tab features five different bonuses you may receive for gaining a decent amount of points during game play.  These power ups are made up of rob bombs, cross bombs, color bombs, nuke bombs and score multipliers.  The third tab highlights the different modes offered.

Sector Mode allows users to progress though three types of difficulty – casual, normal or hard – unlocking the ten new graphical themes along the way, their music tracks and all.  Time Attack Mode allows users to compete for a high score in time intervals of one, five or ten minutes.  Versus Mode allows users to battle a friend over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.  When you begin a new mode, you will find the same tutorials you found under the ‘Modes’ tab of the ‘?’ icon, which help refresh your mind right before beginning your game.

While Time Attack Mode, in my opinion, is the most fun because the time limit presents the challenge of racking up as many points as you can as fast as possible, Sector Mode is ideal for inexperienced players who want to practice the motions and techniques.  But with its easy tutorials and simple interface, it will be no time at all before you begin challenging friend to battle!

*Price noted is the limited time introductory price.

Sigma requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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