Classic puzzle gameplay with a twist.
Falling block puzzle games may not be anything new, but Robot Invader certainly have a different tale to tell with this age-old gameplay in Rise of the Blobs. Marsh Mal the marshmallow (of course), is trying to hold off an invasion of blobs, and naturally the only way to deal with this threat is to hurl pieces of fruit at them.
There are a handful of different game modes included in the game, although each one contains the same core gameplay. You're presented with a tall cylindrical block that you can rotate with a left and right swipe of the fingers. These gradually fill up with fruity blobs, and your task is to drop randomly selected pieces of matching fruit from the top of the cylinder.
Land a piece of watermelon on a green blob, for example, and the fruit can be popped with a finger tap, causing all adjacent green blobs to evaporate and the other pieces to cascade accordingly. Land a piece of fruit on a non-matching blob though, and it will remain there unpoppable. You'll need to stack three pieces of identical mismatched fruit on top of each other to send them off the screen.
You'll start off in the Normal mode of the game, where it's a race through a series of waves, trying to fight off the rising column of blob pieces. If they rise above the top of the cylinder, the game ends. In the Timed mode, you'll have to focus on blobs that contain clocks - grabbing these tops up your timer so you can carry on playing. Similarly, Skull mode puts detonating skulls in blobs, and they need to be matched up before they detonate. Finally, Match mode requires you to make color-matches in a specific order.
If this were a game that you could throw a dollar at and get stuck into, we'd probably struggle to find anything bad to say about Rise of the Blobs, but we were more than a little bit put off by the freemium pricing model used here. The game speed accelerates very quickly, and there are upgrades available that can extend your game time in a very unbalanced way when it comes to chasing a new high score.
The Coconut Bomb takes out a huge number of blobs, as does the Fruit Hammer. You're never going to come close to beating your best power-up high-score without taking advantage of these, and while you're awarded with coins for gameplay, long-term players will almost certainly head to the cash store where extra coins, cosmetic decorations, and unlocks abound. It's a pity really, and you can't shake the feeling that the gameplay exists to support the cash store, rather than the other way around.
If you can ignore that though, and treat the game as a very short-lived time-killer, you'll have fun with Rise of the Blobs. We found the game's performance stuttered a little on our second-generation iPad, but it has its charms nevertheless - just don't expect to take on the global leaderboards without buying yourself a competitive edge.
Rise of the Blobs is free to download but in-app purchases are available. Upgrades, perks and power-ups are purchased with a coin currency earned through gameplay . If you need more coins in Rise of the Blobs, they are available in the following quantities: 2,500 ($0.99) / 15,000 ($4.99) / 35,000 ($9.99) / 75,000 ($19.99) / 500,000 (99.99)
What's Hot:A solid puzzle game with a decent variety of game modes and upgrades.
What's Not:The cash store looms large given the escalating gameplay speed, and the game struggled a little on our hardware.