Reviewed: August 4, 2003
Released: April 16 2003
Mac System Requirements
Some of my colleagues call me a classic gamer...a classic card gamer that is. Thus when I was asked to review Mumbo Jumboís two newest casino-puzzle games I was energized. This was increased further by the knowledge that Power Chips and High Roller are two unique games that come on one CD and ships for both Apple and Windows based systems.
High Roller is what I would call a matching game that requires you to swap adjoining pairs of dice on the board to align three or more matching dice. The game board is comprised of sixty-four dice that you get to switch around. When you complete a matching row of three or more the dice disappear and the rest of that row is filled with replacement dice that fall from the top to refill the rows and columns. Your score in High Roller is based upon the number and value of the dice cleared. If you make enough matches to complete the gas gauge you are then able to advance to the next round.
There are two ways to play High Roller; normal and time attack. Normal allows you to compete against your own highest score and allows you to try to beat it. This mode of the game ends when you have run out of moves. The time attack modeís goal is the same as normalÖhowever you only have a minute to complete the round. The neat thing with this mode is that for every match you complete a second is added to your remaining time. Each round starts with less time than the prior round and you should remember that if you have any time left it is multiplied by 500 and given as a bonus to that roundís final score.
Power Chips is another puzzle game that allows you to eliminate combinations of three or more chips without the option of switching places. A new row of casino chips falls every few seconds creating a sense of urgency. If your pieces pile up to touch the top line your game is over. This game does have special chips that help you eliminate rows and columns. Other chips also aid your game by being wild to match colors, bonus or nuke chips that get rid of all the surrounding chips. Like High Roller, Power Chips has two modes of play; normal and time attack. I really enjoyed the time attack much more than the normal mode.
High Rollerís graphics were based on a classic 1950ís muscle car theme. For a puzzle game the developers did a great job in combining the background with the actual game. Besides filling the gas gauge with progress the developers have added the classic hot rod starting lights on the sides of the game field. These lights fill up and show your progress in the game along with the fuel gauge that inches along the bottom of the screen. An annoying bit in this game was the star squares which contained rotating stars. This game would have been easier to focus on without the constant rotation of these stars.
Power Chipís graphics were based on the fabulous world of Las Vegas. I was more impressed with this games graphics. The left side of the screen shows statistics such as time left and groups left. The main game screen shows more advances in that the pieces glint once in a while and the upcoming row is developed one chip at a time. I was able to handle the graphics in this game much more than High Rollerís annoying stars of rotation. The graphics in Power Chips were also quicker to change after completing a play than in High Roller.
Overall sound was pretty basic and not too overwhelming. High Rollerís soundtrack is based on a 1950ís rock and roll tune that starts to wear thin after a while. Power Chipsí soundtrack is very jazzy and was tolerated for a while longer than High Rollerís. The developers were kind enough to include a mute button on both of these games. I found myself jamming to my own music while enjoying the contexts of these games.
Both of these games are quite easy to learn and can provide many hours of enjoyment. By packing both of these titles on one CD I believe people will be more apt to purchase the set. Another aspect to take into consideration is that the developer is catching onto the trend and packaging this game for both the Apple and Windows platforms. I got more value out of Power Chips, as it seems more robust than High Roller.
Overall I enjoyed playing both of these games. They did indeed keep me playing for hours as my significant other can attest. The lack of graphical quality in High Roller leads me to highly promote Power Chips as being the stronger game in this package. No matter which type of game you like you are getting two quality games for less than around $20. If you want some carefree arcade action this bundle would be a great buy.
You can download playable copies of both at www.mumbojumbo.com and see for yourself.