by Felix Xiao
November 24, 2010
OverviewThey may not look very fierce, but they're downright dangerous. The Zapples have attacked a beautiful land, and they're not getting away with it. If you can harness the force of electricity in time, you might be able to save the world from these round big-eyed creatures.
FeaturesThe game has 6 worlds with 8 levels each, making for 48 chain reaction stages. In each of them, a number of Zapples are moving around on the screen. You get one chance to shoot a burst of electricity into the playing field. Once hit by your shock of death, a Zapple will be immobilized and electrocuted for about 5 seconds. Additional creatures that come into contact with it during that time period will share the same fate. Rather than killing them off at the same time, you have a goal for each level that you have to meet in order to move on to the next.
The GoodAs in any chain reaction game, Zapples requires precise timing that makes the game challenging at times. With some luck and patience, you should be able to complete each world eventually. The controls are easy to grasp, as you only need to tap on the screen once per level. Zapples is one of the more relaxed and less-involved games available, and you'll be able to play it while doing something else. The artwork is adorable, especially when it comes to the death of the vile creatures. One second, they look happy and are rolling around, and the next, they're alert and surrounded by high voltage currents. The worlds are linked together, meaning that every 8 levels, the background will shift to a different scene. There are pirate ships, trees, and caves in these backgrounds that serve as obstacles in gameplay. The music is not great, but fitting for such a simple game.
The BadThe main problem with Zapples is that it's a slow paced game that will get boring unless you're doing something else at the same time. Because the creatures remain frozen for 5 seconds, a typical level requires you to tap one time and watch for 2 minutes as a bunch of round things float around on the screen. Compared to other chain reaction games, it's not nearly as involved or addictive. A fast forward button that sped up the reaction would really help this issue. Until then, expect to feel slightly drowsy after a few levels. Zapples is also too short and lacking in depth. The 48 levels can be finished within an hour or so, and there's nothing to do after that. Although your scores are tracked for each world, you can't go back and try to improve your performance on an individual level. The stale gameplay and repetitive nature will prevent you from wanting to go back to them anyway. It would be nice to have some additional game modes so that the game would have some degree of variation.
The VerdictAlthough Zapples has plausible graphics and controls, it feels way too slow and does not offer enough to be considered a good game. Presenting very little replay value or uniqueness, the game simply can't compete with other titles of its genre. A future update could potentially fix some of these issues, but until then, be sure to avoid the $0.99 game. If you're intrigued by the style definitely check out Sneezies.
Escalation Studios, LLC.