Just when you thought the puzzle, match-colours genre was running out of ideas, iChromo has shown with Liqua Pop the premise still has much life in it yet.
If you’ve ever played Bejeweled, Tetris, Columns and the billion other puzzle games out there you will know the drill. Liqua Pop involves pushing around coloured objects. In this case, it’s bubbles.
As you drag a bubble over another one of the same colour they combine, and can be made to blow up with a shake of the device. In fact, you can consume multiple bubbles to help you keep on top of the constant rush.
Quite often bugs have been trapped within the bubbles and these can help your cause, but not always. Some offer points as a reward for freeing them, some have a unique purpose.
For instance, the colour-changing variants do just that, swap the different colours of a group of bubbles to one so you can clear them quickly
The nastier bugs can turn bubbles black for a short period of time, and as a result you have less of the screen to play with which can be fatal. You need to learn how to deal with these threats to survive. Fortunately, Liqua Pop helps you out by giving you handy hints when you aren’t doing something.
As you work through a level the toad on the left moves upwards. When he reaches the top, you can progress onto the next one, and so on and so forth.
It may seem a random choice of creature, but actually the realistic watery sound effects and the rainforest-styling goes hand in hand with the brightly-coloured reptile.
From our limited play time with the game, it’s clear the physics behind the game works brilliantly. As you move bubbles the dynamic fluid makes them react accordingly – each ripple and squeeze of the see-through wonders animates so well it looks real. Aside from drawing you in, it adds a sense of weight and intuitiveness to Liqua Pop’s controls.
To keep you hooked, there are score leaderboards so you can compete with your friends, courtesy of Facebook integration support. You also unlock the different bugs as you progress – the mystery of what all the seven do helps keep you curious.
Of all the Spring games we saw from EA Mobile, Liqua Pop sits most prominently in the mind. It not only looks and sounds brilliant, bringing typical match-3 puzzling into the 21st century with a great deal of style, its mechanics make it really fun to play.
If you are a fan of the likes of Bejeweled and Tetris, Liqua Pop looks set to impress.
Liqua Pop is due for release ‘very soon’. A price has not been confirmed.
[Update: Game Center isn’t supported – Liqua Pop has Facebook integration]