Liqua Pop, a slick new color-matching game developed by iChrono and published by Electronic Arts, is now available from the app store. Utilizing advanced liquid simulation, Liqua Pop is both visually striking and serenely addicting.
Liqua Pop Pros:
- Mesmerizing water effects and colorful, crisp graphics
- Serene soundtrack with nature sounds and piano music
- Simple controls
- Bugs help or hinder, adding layer of strategy
Liqua Pop Cons:
- Leaderboards use Facebook instead of popular social gaming platform
- Drag controls suffer from occasional imprecision
- Very repetitive
- Only one game mode
The goal of Liqua Pop is to get Toadie the frog to ascend the leaf stem and reach the shiny droplet at the top, at which point he’ll advance to the next level, climb back down, and start all over again. He’s basically a glorified fill meter, but watching him move is so much more enjoyable than the alternative. Upon a leafy backdrop, water droplets fall from the screen top, bouncing around in their jaunty, elastic-like way. If too many fill the screen, the game will end. In order to eliminate some of the congestion, you drag your finger across like-colored droplets to combine them. When the equivalent of 4 droplets or more are combined, a timer begins to encircle the mass. Once it completes its rotation, the droplet pops and droplets above fall into its place. You can influence the timing of the pops to create combos and earn bonuses. By double-tapping a timed droplet, you reset the timer, allowing you to keep it on-screen longer. A shake of the iDevice will immediately pop any droplets that are ready to be popped. Some droplets contain bugs whose release can either aid or hamper your progress. One bug changes all surrounding droplets to the same color, while another creates a small explosion that destroys nearby droplets. Other bugs create inky black voids that can only be eliminated by said nearby explosion. There are 7 bugs in all, each with a unique look that must be learned in order to quickly identify and properly strategize its use.
Visually, Liqua Pop dazzles, with bright colors, spectacular watery effects, and super crisp graphics thanks to the Retina Display support. To say that all animations are extremely fluid is to invoke a silly pun, yet speak the truth. There is a calming quality brought about by watching water droplets envelope each other. The soundtrack is chock full of ambient nature sounds mixed with subtle piano notes, most notably used to indicate the filling of the screen and imminent end of the game. Fortunately, a retry button allows you to pick up exactly where you left off, reinforcing the casual nature of the game. We should note that the game offers support for playing music from your own library, as well. As mentioned previously, controls utilize finger drags to combine drops, taps to reset timers, and the accelerometer to instantly pop drops. They were pretty responsive, though some drags didn’t quite catch the drops accurately.
Replay value is average, though we found the lack of game modes and repetitiveness of the gameplay didn’t leave us feeling compelled to keep coming back for more. High scores are tracked via Facebook, which was a huge disappointment. GameCenter, OpenFeint, or some other social gaming platform would have been greatly preferred. As it stands, Liqua Pop is a nice casual game with pick-up-and-play qualities that is good for short, occasional bursts of play. For $1.99, Liqua Pop is an affordably cool, 4-Dimple offering.
Liqua Pop Review,