Ponos is one of the App Store developers that always gets my attention when they release a new game. Their first title was the underappreciated Puzzle Prism, a 3D-tower take on Tetris. Their followup titles included the enjoyable and original Mr. AahH! and Mr. Space!!.
In Puzzle Cosmos you are presented with dropping square shaped pieces made up of up to 4 different colored blocks. The goal is to match up to 4 different like colors in order to eliminate them from the board. Once a piece falls down, you are able to move it to the left or right on the board. The piece "rolls" along the board changing its orientation (along with the colors it is composed of). Once you are happy with the position, you can drop it into place. If you match up four colors they begin to glow. After a short period of time, those pieces are eliminated from the board. However, you can continue to add like-colored pieces during that small window to build up chains and increase your score.
Throughout the game, the board steadily rises pushing the entire board towards the top of the screen. So, it becomes a fast-paced race to stay ahead by eliminating blocks as quickly as possible.
The game comes with both flick and customizable button controls. I thought the button controls worked perfectly and never bothered switching from the defaults. Global high scores are included as well as 4 different game modes: Standard, Time Attack, Dead Line, and Flash / Rain.
In some ways, I love this game. There were a few people in our forums for which the game never seemed to "click". But for me, the fast paced nature of the game really gave me a frantic Tetris vibe that I hadn't had in a long time. Little design decisions like being able to rotate a block in place when it is up against a tall structure adds some strategy/skill beyond the luck of the drop. That said, this game is hard. Unlocking the additional modes require you to score 50,000 or higher in Standard. I've only been able to hit that score a handful of times, and when I do it seems as much to do with luck of the pieces as it does with my skill as a player. The game just ramps up really quickly, and I'd love to see a more casual mode where you could take your time.
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