The iPhone is usually seen as the wild, crazy new device to play games on. Its accelerometer and touch screen control options make it a very exciting platform to cover and to develop for. Games that don’t usually take advantage of these options such as puzzle games are usually quite the achievers; quick, addictive and easy gameplay makes them perfect for the platform.
Drop7 from Area/Code takes the generic ‘dropping balls’ mechanic of similar games and changes it in a way which makes clearing a line of 7 balls one of the most satisfying experiences on the iPhone platform.
Drop 7 on the surface appears to be a typical drop ball puzzle game. Make similar groups; make them disappear; repeat. Although making the balls disappear is the objective of the game, they way Drop 7 is designed makes for some thought and not mindless color matching. Each ball on the 7×7 grid has a number on it, in order to clear the balls from the screen there must be the same amount of balls touching one another in the row or column as the number on the ball(s) that you wish to clear.
For example; dropping the 1 ball onto the column with the 4 ball will make a group of four balls, making the 4 disappear as well as making the 1 ball disappear as it will be on a row by itself. Once players figure out this simple, yet complex mechanic (which is explained very nicely through the game’s instructions) gray balls are introduced which are numbers that can be uncovered by clearing a ball next to them to reveal the number hidden in them.
The lack of a time limit differentiates Drop 7 from other puzzle games in that there is no rush to deciding where your pieces will go. I’m not saying that Drop7 is the easiest game out there, but it’s nice to not get frustrated over a tedious thing such as a time limit : the no time limit attitude matches the game’s art style perfectly. Although it may seem to be a little bland, once players get sucked into the games addictive puzzle solving the colors and balls could be taken away completely and Drop 7 would still be amazing.
Drop 7′s sound effects and music are perfect. It seems that all the games features work hand in hand to create the perfect, casual puzzle solving experience. The soundtrack by ‘Steve-H’ is really nicely put together, making what can sometimes be long games pleasant to play with the sounds and songs intertwining with one another.
It seems that Drop 7 was made by people who actively play lots of iPhone games. Little touches such as fading out the games music when iPod music is being played and having just the games SFX play. It’s a game that respects the platform as well as the people who are going to be playing it.
Although Drop 7 doesn’t appear to be the best puzzle game on the iPhone, its core mechanics, various game modes, Facebook integration and strong control system make it a must purchase for anyone who wants something different to the generic matching balls/gems puzzle games.
Drop7 deserves a 9/10