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Jar on a Bar Review

By , on July 17, 2012


Jar on a Bar
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Scenic and relaxing pastoral backdrop.
  • There's something satisfyingly evil about yanking out a bottom pillar and watching the fishbowl plummet and crash on the ground below.

CONS

  • Takes too long to introduce new concepts, and these new elements don't really change gameplay all that much.

VERDICT

A game where you have to remove planks to lead a precariously placed fishbowl safely to the ground below. Fun for a diversion, but there are better games in this genre.


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It's sometimes really interesting what constitutes a genre on the app store. For instance, the physics puzzle genre has bloomed over the last couple years, and as such now has its own sub-genres, one of which Jar on a Bar is a part of. Let's call it the physics removal sub-genre. Like Finger Physics, the player has to remove objects from the screen in order to allow an item (in this case a fish stuck in its bowl) to safely descend to the welcoming ground below (so that the fish can hop in the river, and off to freedom).

Unlike Finger Physics with its simple touch-to-remove interface, Jar on a Bar focuses on removing the pieces of each level's puzzle like a game of Jenga. Moving one of the bars left or right will have it respond in kind, and if the fishbowl is on this bar, it will move left or right with it. This side effect allows the player to line up the bowl over different bars before flinging away the one it's positioned on (as often levels will have the bars stacked in a way that allows for more than one solution to get fishy to the river). As the game continues, new elements will be introduced, like ice blocks that are tapped to break apart, and false tufts of ground that will immediately halt your progress.

These new elements are very slowly introduced however, and even with their inclusion, it never feels like they add a breath of fresh air to the core game mechanics. In the end, Jar on a Bar is a game we've played before, and doesn't offer much new to its sub-genre. Sure there's a perverse amusement in watching the fishbowl crash upon the ground when the bar structure topples over or when it catapults the bowl into the atmosphere, but its a small consolation and not reason enough to make the purchase.

Screenshots

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