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Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral Review (iPhone)

Game Review: Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral
Release: July 29, 2010
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Northpole Studio and Bulkypix
Available Platforms: iPhone (iOS 3.0 or later), iPod touch, iPad, Nintendo DS, Wii
Players: 1
MSRP: $1.99 (iPhone)
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone (Comic mischief)
Website: www.bulkypix.com

Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral is a puzzle game recently released for the iPhone. Previous releases have taken place for Nintendo’s Wii and DS.

Bermuda Triangle is a puzzle game in the match-3 format, of which Bejeweled is the most well-known. The opening scenes tell the story: global warming and black market hunters are threatening the survival of the ocean’s coral.  To protect and regrow the coral, match three or more identical pods to release nutrients to the ocean floor.

Those blasted black market hunters are at it again!

As you match sets of nutrients, you gain points and money. The larger the combo, the more points and money you earn. When you achieve a chain of matches, a polite Asian woman announces your feat. I know this because if you accomplish a triple chain she says, “Tripper” as the word “Triple” flashes on the screen. I don’t know if this is intended, but I found it humorous and a welcome addition to the game. There are also several obstacles as you progress: Ink that prevents pods from popping, bubbles that prevent pods from popping, and shark attacks that prevent you from popping pods.

Use the Wave item to clear an entire row

What Bermuda Triangle does, it does well. The animation and music are spirited and cartoony. There is a shop where you may purchase items with the money you earn in each level. The items, even if there are only four, each do something unique and different. There are also three play modes: story, timed, and endless mode. The story mode consists of four islands to protect, each with ten stages. The time and endless modes both host local high score tables; sorry, no OpenFeint leaderboards.

Minight blue? That wasn't in my box of 64.

If I may hazard a guess, the second of four islands to protect should not be named “Minight Blue.” That flaw is only skin-deep and embarrassing at most. There is another issue that is more frustrating; in the shop, you don’t know what an item does until you highlight it with your finger. If you release while the item is still highlighted, consider the item purchased. Wups. I also played through endless, timed, and well over half of story mode with no sight of those black market hunters.

Punish that evil snail by dropping an anchor on it.

For a game that totes itself as “green-themed”, it is ironic you kill snails by dropping anchors on them. Does the world really need another match-3 game? The only clones I love are Dolly and the ones from Star Wars.

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