During last night's iPhone Developers Union party, here at GDC 2010, I had the chance to sit down with Dan Bliss of BinarySquare and have a look at his new, retro-styled block elimination title Kerplinkus [App Store].
Now, many of you out there are surely thinking you need to see another block elimination game like you need a hole in the head, but Dan has managed to deliver a fresh take on the formula that's simple and highly challenging -- in fact, it can be downright panic inspiring. It works like this: you start off with a playfield consisting of upwardly advancing rows of differing blocks. Particles that match the rising blocks fall from above and, in the case of a match, eliminate the blocks they hit (and any bordering blocks of the same design) or, if the shapes don't match, add a block to the column in question. The goal of the game is to see how long you can keep the tallest column from touching the top of the screen. The real strategy lies in the fact that you can swap any two of the advancing blocks by tapping one and then the other. The trick is to wisely determine which columns to focus on to keep the game going. It's a pretty frantic affair.
Like BinarySquare's earlier title, Space Out [App Store], the game features a highly-retro, pixellated graphical treatment that lends the title a distinctive look that some gamers (like me) will love. Old school
music and sound effects, created using the Commodore 64's famous SID chip, are also featured.
While it's true that the App Store is flooded with block elimination games, Kirplinkus really does deliver a fresh twist on the formula. See BinarySquare's demonstration video for a look at the gameplay.
App Store Link: Kerplinkus, $0.99