It's Bejeweled, but with googly eyed critters and fast-paced music.
Just about anyone can release a compelling match three puzzle game. You simply take the concept of matching three or more items to make them disappear (Bejeweled) and then change the objects in question, transforming them to animals (Zoo Keeper), exotic gems (Diamond Twister) or in Chuzzle's case, well, Chuzzles. PopCap, the company that released Bejeweled 2 on iPhone, reused the formula to create another iPhone puzzle game starring a bunch of fur balls. Fun? Sure. Original? Not exactly.
In Chuzzle, the goal is to group three or more crazy eyed critters and watch them explode, gaining points along the way. Unlike games like Bejeweled 2 and Puzzle Quest, however, you cannot move individual pieces. Instead, you can only slide rows vertically and horizontally. That becomes increasingly difficult when specially locked Chuzzles appear, forbidding you from moving whatever row they occupy. Thankfully, there's a hint button, located at the top right corner of the screen. Pressing it, however, costs you valuable points.
Chuzzle comes with four modes: Classic (play the normal way), Speed (play faster), endless Zen (play till you pass out) and Mind Bender. The latter is by far the most challenging, as it throws an arrangement of Chuzzles onto the screen and tasks you with creating the same formation by sliding them around.
There's also an in game leaderboard that tracks your progress, as well as trophies that you'll earn after completing milestones (creating a triple combo, for example). Sadly, there's no multiplayer or online leaderboard, two missing features that make the game's $4.99 price tag a bit tough to swallow.
Chuzzle's enjoyable, no question, but it feels too familiar. On top of that, PopCap doesn't penalize you for randomly sliding Chuzzles around, which kills much of the challenge. We suggest waiting for a price drop, or playing Bejeweled 2 instead.
What's Hot: Classic match-three puzzle gaming, cute Chuzzles, crazy soundtrack, quality touch screen controls.
What's Not: No penalty for random sliding, no multiplayer, a bit expensive at $4.99.