Puzzle games have historically operated on the rule of three. Groups of three, three hits, three colors and three lives.
Stone Loops! of Jurassica doesn’t defer from this rule of thumb, but it implements enough new features and tweaks, which give it a slight edge against similar Zuma-esque games on the app store.
Stone Loops by Codeminion and PlayCreek Operate on the generic ‘match three’ mechanic. There are a line of balls trying to clear the level through intricate and windy paths. Your job is to stop them by shooting the same colored ball into the lines to create groups of three or more.
Although the idea is simple, the rate at which the balls come out in some of the later games is so rapid that it can be frustrating. Even though the challenge can be disheartening, it’s something that’s lacking in other iPhone games.
The difficulty in Stone Loops is something that may provide a hurdle for users who haven’t played the series before. It seems the pacing of the levels is similar to Gears Of War 2 horde mode. Early levels are a breeze, but eventually, it ramps up to near impossible sequences only to slow down again as the next area unlocks. It’s an interesting approach to a game that will be primarily purchased by casual players. Only a few hardcore enthusiasts will love the challenge.
Looking past the occasionally frustrating difficulty are the games impressive graphics. If a tropical paradise of giant rolling balls existed out there, this is what it would look like. Everything has a nice authentic, prehistoric and African feel to it, which complements the game’s fluid animation.
One thing that puzzles me are the ‘house’ upgrades which are unlocked every 3rd or so level. As the player progresses though the normal mode, they have a certain ‘house’ for each area, which luxuries are added to. Sure, it’s a nice way to show progression through the game’s plethora of levels, but it doesn’t really add to the experience and seems to be a wasted feature.
When it gets down to it, Stone Loops! of jurassica is so full of content that anyone worried about running out of things to do will have to burn through the normal mode as well as play through ‘Grab and Shoot’ mode. Grab and Shoot tweaks the core mechanics of the game to add an even more challenging experience.
Combined with a vibrant visual style and the ability to play iPod music really equips Stone Loops! of jurassica with all the features that make up a great iPhone game. However, a pretty high difficulty barrier may turn off a lot of players who may not be able to access all the game’s content to its fullest.
Stone Loops! of jurassica – 6.5/10