Smiles is a wonderfully polished Match 3 game by Sykhronics that has been somewhat under the radar since its release in October, 2008. Despite highly positive reviews and even being named a finalist of 2009 IGF's Best Mobile Games, the game has never broken the Top 100 list in the App Store.
The game has also been prasied by our forum members as one of the best Match-3 games in the App Store.
Just purchased Smiles earlier today after all the praise I've heard about it and checking out the video at the dev site. It really is worthy of all the praise, fantastic polish, charming graphics, nice variety of gameplay modes, and incredibly addictive. By far the best of the match 3 games I've played on the iphone, and worth a look even if you are tired of them for the most part. Smiles Zen in particular is a fantastic more puzzlecentric twist on the genre. - stephennn
We've been meaning to cover Smiles at some point and this weekend's (small) sale on Smiles Zen gives us a good excuse.
The original and full version of the game Smiles [App Store, $4.99] is actually composed of two different games: "Zen" and "Drop". The developer has also separated out these into their own individual apps: Smiles Zen [$1.99 (on sale)] and Smiles Drop [$2.99].
Drop is the more traditional version of the game in which items are the items are matched in 3 or more to be eliminated from the board. The remaining tiles fall into place to fill the gaps. Unique to Smiles is the use of large reservoir tile on the bottom of the screen. Instead of swapping two adjacent tiles, you are exchanging a tile on the board with this large tile. The use of this exchange method allows you to create lengthy chains of matches by planning ahead.
Zen is a described as a more "relaxing" puzzle game. While the basic mechanic of the game remains the same (swap tiles, match 3 or more), the end goal is to simply light up the entire board. Matches are no longer removed but stay lit in place.
The developer's gameplay video provides a good overview of the different modes:
A free/lite version of the game [App Store, Free] is available with both Zen and Drop modes to test out, so you can try this "Best Mobile Game" finalist for yourself.
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