Up Shape iPhone App Video Review
If you take the best elements of Tetris, a finger-flicking, puzzle-based physics game like Angry Birds, and the visual aspects of Doodle Jump, you end up with a mumbo jumbo that’s very close to the stellar gameplay offered by Up Shape an iPhone app from Ning Rui. The title provides a unique twist on pattern matching, and though it’s not yet a complete package, it’s more than enough to keep the average morning commuter entertained. For our full thoughts on this strategic color-based app, check out our iPhone app review.
Concept and Gameplay
As stated, Up Shape is somewhat a puzzle game, somewhat a physics title, and just a tiny bit a Doodle Jump clone. The app’s interface sports the same hand-drawn aesthetic as the iOS classic, but rather than having players jump endlessly upward toward the heavens, Up Shape has geometric pieces falling from the sky toward a game board below.
The game board itself consists of three different shapes and three different colors: There’s a star, a flower, and a heart, as well as a green block, a blue block, and a red block. Users must swap the position of each of these tiles to match the game bits that fall downward from above. Once a combination has been pegged, it’s whisked off with the flick of a finger, canceling out the falling piece. In this sense, the game is most like Tetris, though with a few modifications. However, rather than putting the emphasis on the player’s ability to manage piece placement, Up Shape simply has them flinging out shapes like hotcakes, hoping madly to knock out all the oncoming waves before the three included lives are up.
It’s a neat package, and as much as we love the game concept, we did have a hard time controlling the beast. Up Shape requires the player to move the game tiles about, and though this isn’t hard—per say—we did have a lot of trouble getting the pieces out quickly enough. This might be our fault, but faster controls would go a long way toward smoothing out some of the game’s bumps.
Graphics and Art Style
Undeniably, we’re enthralled by Up Shape’s wicked graphics. The game draws a lot from the countless Doodle Jump clones to come before it, but the end result is a wickedly engaging, hand-drawn atmosphere that sucks us in with its chalky warmth. If you’re a fan of Doodle Jump’s look, you won’t be disappointed here.
Up Shape is priced a bit higher than we’d like, clocking in at $1.99, rather than the ever sweet dollar spot we prefer. However, for that money, users can enjoy a unique puzzling environment with killer graphics. The game isn’t perfect—Controls aside, we’d love some Game Center integration—but it will still easily fill a morning commute with time to spare.
Up Shape requires iOS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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