In 1989, influenced by Tetris and tic-tac-toe, Dave Akers and Mark Stephen Pierce created Klax, originally programmed in just a few weeks in Amiga Basic. Nearly 20 years later, Mark Stephen Pierce flying solo with the help of Super Happy Fun Fun released Star*Burst [App Store], a matching game with tons of particle effects and all the gameplay from classic Klax turned upside down as the rights to the original Klax seems to be trapped somewhere in Midway's bankruptcy-powered licensing purgatory.

If Klax was before your time, or you just never got around to pumping quarters in to a Klax machine, here's the basic gist of the Star*Burst-- Randomly spawning bricks come down a conveyor belt towards a paddle which can catch and hold up to five bricks at once. Moving your finger around controls the paddle, and swiping down throws a brick back up on to the conveyor belt, while tapping the paddle throws the brick up to the five by five grid at the top of the screen.

Blocks on the top of the screen are cleared by matching them horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and other more complicated layouts such as forming arrows, an X, or stars. The more blocks you clear the more points you earn, and as blocks are removed the existing blocks compress to fill any spaces that may have been created as blocks disappear-- Allowing you to chain massive combos (and earn point multipliers) if you can set them up.

When you get farther in to the game, wild blocks that will match any color and bomb blocks appear that can destroy nearby blocks on the grid. Just like Klax, achieving high scores involves thinking ahead and intelligently managing which blocks you keep on your paddle, which blocks you flip back up on to the conveyor belt, and how you arrange the blocks on the grid. The game is over when you either fail to catch five blocks from the conveyor belt, or you run out of spaces on the grid to place new blocks.

If you were a fan of the original Klax, you need to have Star*Burst on your iPhone. The touch controls work well, and really my only gameplay criticism is that the on-screen button to make the conveyor spit out blocks (the small square with two arrows near the top in screenshots) seems to be awkwardly positioned. You really only need to speed up the block conveyor in the earlier levels when blocks come slower, so this is a very minor issue.

Star*Burst has online scoring and tons of achievements, but unfortunately uses Facebook instead of Plus+ or OpenFeint so the online scoring/achievement functionality is fairly primative and seems to be limited to your Facebook friends and spamming your Facebook wall. With a better online scoring system, Star*Burst would be amazing.

App Store Link: Star*Burst, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • cranker

    Online scores with facebook ? No sale even if it's great :(

  • cranker

    Online scores with facebook ? No sale even if it's great :(

  • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

    Aaah the fond memories of my Amiga.. why did I sell you?

  • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

    Aaah the fond memories of my Amiga.. why did I sell you?

  • Martin C

    Klax was awesome. I'm still trying to score the cart for my collection. I'll definitely give this a try.

  • Martin C

    Klax was awesome. I'm still trying to score the cart for my collection. I'll definitely give this a try.

  • Smint

    looks like that game from popcapgames. but a little different. Ah, that game called Astropop

  • Smint

    looks like that game from popcapgames. but a little different. Ah, that game called Astropop

  • http://twitter.com/scarbir Scarbir

    So many games on the AppStore and this one gets attention? Bit strange to me. Hopy you still pay attention to Bad Apples and even more so, the wonderful demo of Alice in Wonderland that was released yesterday.

    • Bruce

      Uh, if it's a good game why shouldn't it get some attention??

      KLAX is a great game, and if this is anything like KLAX it's well worth the two bucks.

  • http://twitter.com/scarbir Scarbir

    So many games on the AppStore and this one gets attention? Bit strange to me. Hopy you still pay attention to Bad Apples and even more so, the wonderful demo of Alice in Wonderland that was released yesterday.

    • Bruce

      Uh, if it's a good game why shouldn't it get some attention??

      KLAX is a great game, and if this is anything like KLAX it's well worth the two bucks.

  • Chad

    "Super Happy Fun Fun"

    WTF

  • Chad

    "Super Happy Fun Fun"

    WTF

  • http://Dannydoesduluth.com Danny

    Klax is on my personal list of 5 games I really want in the app store (along with SmashTV, Super Pac-Man, Captain Commando, and Alex Kidd in Miracle World). Seeing this new almost-Klax is a great way to start my Friday.

    • Colorsound

      Danny, Alex Kidd in Miracle World is one of my all time favorites too!

      As well as Klax, I think this game is just what I have been waiting for!

      I wish Sega would bring Alex Kidd back. Maybe remake Miracle World and Enchanted Castle as 3d side scrollers with the music changed from Midi to actual orchestrations. How amazing would that be?

  • http://Dannydoesduluth.com Danny

    Klax is on my personal list of 5 games I really want in the app store (along with SmashTV, Super Pac-Man, Captain Commando, and Alex Kidd in Miracle World). Seeing this new almost-Klax is a great way to start my Friday.

    • Colorsound

      Danny, Alex Kidd in Miracle World is one of my all time favorites too!

      As well as Klax, I think this game is just what I have been waiting for!

      I wish Sega would bring Alex Kidd back. Maybe remake Miracle World and Enchanted Castle as 3d side scrollers with the music changed from Midi to actual orchestrations. How amazing would that be?

  • Ballpeen

    Klax was sooo addictive! One of those classic arcade games where you "almost had it!!" and "just one more time.."

    OT: Speaking of addictive games, check out quakelive.com for free Quake3 fun. I have uninstalled Q3 several times over the years because I spent too much time on it, now it's my browser! Drat.

  • Ballpeen

    Klax was sooo addictive! One of those classic arcade games where you "almost had it!!" and "just one more time.."

    OT: Speaking of addictive games, check out quakelive.com for free Quake3 fun. I have uninstalled Q3 several times over the years because I spent too much time on it, now it's my browser! Drat.

  • Jindo Fox

    I loved how the original game said "It is the nineties, and there is time for ... KLAX!" I had the Atari Lynx version and this is much more portable. :-)

    Eli: you guys seem to have a healthy appreciation of the the past, but it's bloody criminal that you haven't given any love to Star Rangers. It's a faithful remake of Atari's Star Raiders, except with modern graphics and online achievements. Like Star*Burst, it was developed by some notable people from the era of the original game.

    • Bruce

      As a long time fan of 8-bit Star Raiders, I tried out the Lite version of Star Rangers. Meh. The game is close, but the feel of the dogfights is not right...

      I look forward to checking this game out - KLAX is a righteous classic game of the early 90s.

      • http://www.analogretro.com Rob

        So far the feedback and reviews for star rangers have been overwhelmingly very positive and there's a big update coming. It is pretty strange that TA hasn't covered it yet, especially given some of the similar and markedly inferior titles (from completely unknown developers) being reviewed.

  • Jindo Fox

    I loved how the original game said "It is the nineties, and there is time for ... KLAX!" I had the Atari Lynx version and this is much more portable. :-)

    Eli: you guys seem to have a healthy appreciation of the the past, but it's bloody criminal that you haven't given any love to Star Rangers. It's a faithful remake of Atari's Star Raiders, except with modern graphics and online achievements. Like Star*Burst, it was developed by some notable people from the era of the original game.

    • Bruce

      As a long time fan of 8-bit Star Raiders, I tried out the Lite version of Star Rangers. Meh. The game is close, but the feel of the dogfights is not right...

      I look forward to checking this game out - KLAX is a righteous classic game of the early 90s.

      • http://www.analogretro.com Rob

        So far the feedback and reviews for star rangers have been overwhelmingly very positive and there's a big update coming. It is pretty strange that TA hasn't covered it yet, especially given some of the similar and markedly inferior titles (from completely unknown developers) being reviewed.

  • Bobby

    Yes, but do the tiles say "heeeeey!" when you drop them? That was the best feature of the original game - that and the female "yeah! oooooh!" voice.

    To this day, my friends and I still say make that "heeeey!" noise from Klax whenever we (or somebody else) drops something. Even watching football - "Adrian Peterson is gonna score, oh no - HEEEEEEY! Not again!"

    Oh well. It is hasn't been the nineties for a long time. No more time for Klax.

  • Bobby

    Yes, but do the tiles say "heeeeey!" when you drop them? That was the best feature of the original game - that and the female "yeah! oooooh!" voice.

    To this day, my friends and I still say make that "heeeey!" noise from Klax whenever we (or somebody else) drops something. Even watching football - "Adrian Peterson is gonna score, oh no - HEEEEEEY! Not again!"

    Oh well. It is hasn't been the nineties for a long time. No more time for Klax.

  • JMH

    This is an awesome game! It did take me a few tries to get into it, but now it's my go-to game anytime I have a few minutes. I think these guys also made the snowboarding game that I have on my phone. It's a lot of fun, too.

  • JMH

    This is an awesome game! It did take me a few tries to get into it, but now it's my go-to game anytime I have a few minutes. I think these guys also made the snowboarding game that I have on my phone. It's a lot of fun, too.

  • kennfusion

    This was one of my favorite games on the NES ever. I just bought it, played a couple games. Will take a bit to get used to the tap vs drag, but so cool that I can play Klax!

  • kennfusion

    This was one of my favorite games on the NES ever. I just bought it, played a couple games. Will take a bit to get used to the tap vs drag, but so cool that I can play Klax!