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Some of the App Store’s 12,000-plus games are new ideas conceived expressly for this new platform, while others are retreads of more familiar fare. Overnostalgic for the Neon ’90s, we were excited to play two recent remakes of classic puzzle games.
Taito’s Bust-a-Move, also known in Japan as Puzzle Bobble, resembles the 1996 Mac puzzle game Snood. You fire colored balls at a puzzle of colored balls, trying to match three and make them disappear. The balls gradually move down the screen, and if they reach the bottom before you clear the board, you lose.
Bust 'em before they move.
Bust-a-Move has a totally forgettable story, plus bright graphics and two ways to fire the ball: with a simple tap or using a slingshot technique. We had a hard time aiming, but if you fail a level and retry it, the game inserts a dotted line to help you line up your shots better. Special pieces include cannonballs that wipe out everything in their path and exploding balls that take out an entire color at once. Plus, you can bank shots off the sides and even the top of the screen. Bluetooth connectivity lets two players battle in Versus mode (not supported by the first-gen iPod touch), and Challenge mode is a never-stopping barrage of puzzles.
See also: Luxor, another recent remake of a classic puzzle game.
Gamers who miss the '90s will be glad to pocket these puzzles, but we had to ding Bust-a-Move for its long load times and semifrequent crashes at the menu screen.