AquAttack Review (PSN)

Game Review: AquAttack
Release: TBC
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Valcon Games
Available Platforms: PS3 / PSP
Players: 1
MSRP: $2.99
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Website: Official Website

Puzzle games have always been a little tricky to review; they’re little pieces of software with an obligation of keeping a perfect balance of having a simple yet effective gameplay, and a rewarding difficulty and learning curve. From the good folks at Valcon Games, here comes AquAttack; a new entry on this mighty genre, that could sadly end up being a little too mini (get it?) for your acquired taste.

AquAttack is an extremely simple puzzle title that will feel extremely familiar to anyone who has played Bejeweled before, and to a lesser extent, Meteos. The main objective is to line up three or more fishes of the same color, either vertically or horizontally to eliminate said fishes, under a limited amount of time. By doing so, you’ll gain a couple more seconds to keep playing. In addition, matching four fishes of the same color will create a bomb that will explode (and eliminate more fishes) if another match is made in the rows or columns next to it.

Controlling the game could be considered tricky, as you cannot move the fishes individually, but entire columns and rows to get the desired effect (think of a Rubik Cube). However, the game is rather easy, specially in Arcade, as a lot of the matches will come accidentally, without having to actually think every move, sadly giving little to no reason to actually use your skill. The game will give a score based on how much time you managed to play, and how many fishes you lined-up, giving you a rank on a pretty ridiculous leaderboard that seems to be the overall goal of the main mode. There are a few other details in Arcade to give more variety and difficulty, like the Corals, which will prevent you from moving the row and column such item is located, being forced to use bombs to get rid of them. Also, if you net a match next to an Electric Eel, it will destroy all fishes of the same color across the board.

Challenge Mode, on the other hand, spice things up a lot by giving certain tasks to complete and therefore increasing significantly the difficulty. These tasks vary from detonating a certain number of bombs, achieving a insane amount of points, getting rainbows (a row full of fishes of every color) or even avoiding the detonation of any bomb. There are in total 50 challenges and even if the first ones are incredibly dull and easy, the later will really test your skill and patience; effectively giving a lot more replay value to this really small game.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the graphics are as bland as they can get, but they’re colorful enough to not being offensive to your eyes; there’s no variety in any way other than the fact the challenges are meant to be “different”. Sound is equally uninspired. As far as I noticed, there was only one tune in the whole game, which is completely mediocre even for a mini title. The one song was appropriately composed, though. In terms of user interface and presentation, the game is adequate, but it lacks any kind of tutorial; I know the game is quite simple but there were still times, specially in Challenge Mode, that I felt a little lost (you have no way of knowing what a rainbow is, for example)

Julian’s Final Say

Overall, AquAttack is a very small game with nothing particularly special to offer; it’s not broken nor completely boring, but it’s completely devoid of any meaningful and interesting content. There’s a good deal of replay value on Challenge Mode, though, and some of the challenges are incredibly difficult, but other than that, I’m pretty sure you’ll have more quality time playing Bejeweled on your cell phone.

  • Interesting twist to the traditional Bejeweled-like gameplay
  • Bland visuals, zero variety
  • The soundtrack is composed of one tune
  • Challenge Mode, being the longest and more difficult mode, is really what this game is all about

Final Score: 3 out of 10

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