The Greedy Sponge Review
- Interesting 'matching' mechanics; puzzle oriented 'Bust-a-Move'.
- Sharp visuals; smooth Retina support and bright, clear designs to make matching a breeze.
- Lacking in depth; slow initial pacing and no evolution in mechanics quickly becomes repetitive.
The Greedy Sponge starts out as a surprisingly unique puzzle matching experience, erring more on the side of 'puzzle' than 'matching', but once you have a grip on the gameplay its lack of variety makes it hard to come back for more.
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Much like any sane and reasonable human being, I fear the creatures of the ocean. This is perhaps in part due to my overwhelming dread of some Cthulu-esque monstrosity being enraged by our incursion on their gigantic domain, but also because sea-creatures are largely creepy. The Greedy Sponge by Ivica Aracic and Sponge Forge feeds directly in this well of dread by forcing you to help an endlessly hungry sponge to consume a host of replicating organisms.
If you haven't guessed it, the game is at its heart of hearts a 'match' game, rewarding players for lining up differently shaded creatures to score points, though there is a twist. Games like Bust-A-Move (Puzzle Bobble) challenge players to crowbar groups of orbs off a larger pile by strategically creating matches through careful aiming. Greedy Sponge is similar in concept, though players can only 'bump' rows left or right, attempting to align the colored creatures in groups of five or more to clear them off the screen. Though this isn't how you score points - no, your aim is to clip off as many creatures as possible to shove them in the sponge's gaping maw.
The game adopts far more of a puzzle aspect as you have two options for removing chunks of creatures, either by snipping them off via a match or shifting a row in order to remove their foothold. It's not immediately intuitive, though the game starts out slow enough to work out tactics such as removing tiny groups at the top of the screen in order to bump a row to shear off the rest. Sadly beyond these basic mechanics there's not much else to experience; there's a challenge in learning how to efficiently clear off group of creatures, but outside of rows dropping down the screen faster there is little in the way of depth in the gameplay.
Achievements and leader-board placements on Game Center add some replay value, along with a timed mode (where you have five minutes to get the highest possible score), but what starts out as a neat concept loses its sheen after only a few plays. The developer has promised additions such as 'upgrades' and a 'battle-mode', so if you're intrigued by the concept you might be rewarded with more value over time, but despite it's beautiful presentation, lullaby soundtrack and intriguing concept, it lacks any serious replay value.