Reviewed: May 5, 2009
Released: April 9, 2008
App Store Price: $.99
The biggest Russian invasion into America can be traced back to 1985 when Tetris invaded our PCís and workplace productivity came to a crawl. Since then we have seen countless versions of the game released on everything from PC to console to cell phone to PDA Ė anything with a screen and a directional input. We have also seen countless copycat games that take the core theme of Tetris and expand upon it; the most popular of these is the Match-Three puzzle style game.
Iso is the most recent of these puzzle games, released for the iPhone and continues to prove that this genre is still alive and well. Imagine a Tetris game spun 45-degrees to the side so you now see the block falling down the screen at a quasi-3D angle. You have 8 vertical columns and the blocks fall down in groups of three in random patterns of increasing numbers of colors.
Your only goal is to match three (or more) adjoining colors, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. While you cannot rotate the cluster you can cycle the position of the colored blocks while they fall. Itís a simple premise that is executed quite well on the iPhone. You steer the pieces by dragging your finger across the screen, or you tap the screen to cycle the colored blocks, and finally, you can accelerate the cluster by sweeping down with your finger.
As with other games of this type, itís not always about matching the obvious blocks but the subsequent combos that will naturally evolve as blocks vanish and new matching clusters are formed. These chain reactions are where the big points and high scores are earned.
There are no levels and no difficulty settings, although the game offers a nice progressing of increasingly challenge the longer your play. Just start a game and play until you lose, which can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on how good you are. Iso tracks your scores and maintains a high score list. Future updates will offer online leaderboards.
Iso doesnít offer much beyond the core gameplay. You can play your own MP3 music in the background, but youíll have to set that all up before you launch Iso. The shaded single-color backgrounds are extremely boring and I would love an option to play the game over my own images in my Photo Library.
Iso is one of those games that is extremely easy to learn and play and impossible to master or ever win, but the addictive nature of the gameplay along with the relatively short pick-up-and-play nature of the game make this a great app and you canít beat the price considering just how long you will play Iso.