Rapid Review: Ponk - Arcade Match Three
Ponk ($0.99) by Itchy Mitshi Ponk is a new match three game that combines aspects of Tetris and the line drawing genre to give you a whole new way to match three. The new orbs fall in at a regular rate, and you simply grab them and drag them to the column you want. It's a silky smooth control mechanic, and really allows for quick matches, and you must make your actions very quickly.
There are three game modes with a regular classic mode, a time attack mode, and a kaboom mode where you need to blow up special orbs. There are three difficulties for each mode, and there is Game Center for online high scores and achievements. Bombs are the main special power to really clear a number of orbs quickly, but there is also a rainbow orb to clear all orbs of the same color it touches.
The main aspect though is the freeze meter which builds up with each match you make. Once it fills completely you can tap it to freeze the screen, and then you can rearrange the entire board while the freeze lasts. The gameplay has a lot of actions to really clear the screen so for the most part your columns don't stack very high because you’re always removing orbs.
In this way the game is a bit too easy, and lacks real challenge to keep you coming back. Most of the time you'll lose because the game is so repetitive you lose interest. That's not the case on the expert difficulty mode which is thankfully there to provide some real difficulty for each mode.
Ponk does include Game Center, but the achievements aren't always credited on your account when they're credited in the game which is a major bug for those that like achievements. The game is a nice change of pace for the match three genre giving you solid arcade action as you can drag around the falling pieces.
Ponk may be too easy for some, but any match three fan will get their money's worth for only $0.99.