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Current Review

By , on May 27, 2011


Current
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Iconic gameplay with a unique twist.
  • Multiple 'pressures' dynamically add challenge to the game; rapidly multiplying enemies, limited resources, unique 'boss' creatures that modify enemy behavior.
  • 'Passive' power-ups; take out enemies by laying traps, spreading disease, etc.
  • Detailed 'lo-fi' visuals; unique Hexogs within each color/type add a believable aesthetic richness to the game.

CONS

  • 'Randomized' levels can be harsh, spinning out of control quickly in the first few seconds; messes with the smooth progression of difficulty.
  • Limited replay value; lacking a dedicated high-score mode and no real incentive to 'perfect' earlier levels.

VERDICT

Dismissing Current as simply another Puzzle Bobble-like game would be a grave error; attempting to keep ahead of the ever-evolving pack of Hexogs can be a challenge, but skill, patience and quick reactions will prevail in the end.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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We've all played one game or another within the 'three-match' genre, be it something as iconic as Bejewelled or a little more abstract like Puzzle Bobble and their popularity resulted in the App Store (over)reacting accordingly. Over time the flood of copy-cats reached an equilibrium, leaving only the giants of the App Store as they stood on the backs of those who perished. The unique way in which these games explored a simple concept helped to contribute to their survival and Current by TinkerHouse Games is no exception.

Initially the game plays out like a relaxed version of Puzzle Bobble; players tap and pick enemy Hexog from the screen, launching them back at matching Hexog's to clear them out and score a few points. So far so similar, but the Hexog's aren't passive bystanders awaiting their doom, they fight back by multiplying and much like an infectious disease and things can get out of control quickly. Each enemy type has a preferred method of multiplication (be it surrounding itself with copies; spreading copies in a linear path; or simply picking a random spot somewhere else) and they're not above destroying other Hexogs for more space. Add in special varieties that can modify their behavior such as forcing all the enemies around them to multiply faster and it's not long before you're faced with a full screen of Hexogs.

Oh, did I mention you only get 25 shots to clear the screen? That's right, despite the randomized nature of each level, completing them can be much like a puzzle as you wait for opportunities to create 'chain' explosions by hitting enemies just before they multiply or deploying one of several weapons that exploit the traits of the Hexog AI. Each new enemy and power-up is added gradually over the course of the 56 currently available levels and should you find yourself having trouble with a particular stage you can 'save' up energy for power-ups over multiple attempts, allowing you to effectively 'spam' the Hexogs in to submission.

Despite the digital neon visuals, Current feels 'alive' and at times hypnotic as the music pulsates in time with the growth of the enemies. It's an odd thing to say about a game, but instead of being pressured to perform by some sort of clock count-down, you need to 'hunt' your way to victory as you snipe multiplying Hexogs or lay traps in order to control their numbers before finishing them off.

Beyond the main campaign there's some replay value in trying to perfect earlier levels, but those looking to breathe a bit more life in to the game may have to wait until future content updates. If you're after a new arcade 'puzzle' title, it's hard to pass up Current.

Screenshots

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