The amount of content you get for the price is impressive; it's just a shame that the quality of said content isn't better.
- Staggering number of game modes
- online play and video chat is a nice bonus
- Skyscraper is a really cool game
- Swizzle Blocks and Aquatica aren't very good
- tough to find online opponents
- value of extra content diminished by low quality of games.
Given the preponderance of puzzle games available for Xbox Live Arcade, it's somewhat surprising that Go! Puzzle is the first true puzzle game for Sony's online store. This collection of three games (Aquatica, Skyscraper, and Swizzle Blocks) can be purchased for $5.99 or you can buy them separately for $2.99 per game. In addition to the main single-player modes, you'll find secondary play modes, multiplayer, online play, online video chat with the EyeToy, and online leaderboards. There's no question that you get a lot for your money with Go! Puzzle, but only one of the three games is any good, so if you buy the whole collection, you might not feel like you're getting your money's worth.
Skyscraper is easily the best game in the package. You control a cute little spaceman who must navigate through each floor of a skyscraper so he can get to the roof and his waiting spacecraft. Each floor is filled with tiles of varying colors. Once you've stepped on the first tile, you can only step on that colored tile for the rest of the floor. Your spaceman can walk left or right and up or down (but not diagonally) from tile to tile, but once he's stepped on a tile, he can't walk on it again. However, he can jump over tiles one tile at a time. Further complicating matters is the fact that you've got to deal with a time limit. You're awarded extra time if you step on every tile of a particular color when crossing a floor. You don't have to do this on every floor, but you'll quickly run out of time if you don't do it on most floors. Skyscraper is one of those games where you'll fail over and over before you move on to the next level, but it's enjoyable enough that you won't mind repeating levels. The only real knock against the game is that the difficulty curve could have been a little gentler because you'll quickly go from clearing floors with ease to trying them a dozen times or more before clearing them.
The next game in Go! Puzzle is the mildly entertaining Swizzle Blocks. The action takes place on a large grid, and you must maneuver small blocks together into a larger block that consists of four like-colored blocks. To do so, you move a targeting reticle around the grid and spin blocks adjacent to the reticle either clockwise or counterclockwise. Your goal is to clear each grid of blocks and to do so as quickly as possible because your bonus decreases with each passing moment. In addition to the challenge mode, you can play a multiplayer mode, which isn't very good. There's also a puzzle mode where you try to clear blocks in the fewest moves possible. This is actually more fun than the main game mode because you're not hampered by the clumsy controls that make the challenge mode tough. This is because you're working slowly and methodically, not trying to spin or move blocks as fast as you can. Be warned that this game is extra difficult if you're color-blind.
Last and most certainly least is Aquatica, a fairly standard puzzler where a line composed of three colored mines falls from the top of the screen. The pieces fall horizontally, and you can't rotate them vertically. But you can flip them 180 degrees, move them left or right across the playfield, and drop them quickly with the press of a button. You must clear the mines by lining up three like-colored mines in a row either vertically or diagonally. When you've cleared a certain amount of lines, you move on to the next level. Along the way, you'll encounter unique blocks, such as one that will only vanish when it gets to the bottom of the playfield or one when used as part of a combo blows up every mine that's the same color as the combo. Aquatica is very slow-paced and doesn't get interesting or challenging until you're several levels into it. But by that time, you'll probably have lost interest.
Cohort Studios can't be accused of skimping on options. Even most full-priced games don't have the wealth of extras you'll find in Go! Puzzle. While $5.99 for three games might sound like a deal, especially if you are going by how much content you get for your money, Skyscraper is the only game that's really worth playing, so you're better off buying it on its own.
- Downloadable Game