Tale as old as time... thinking on your feet... lots of shiny gems... puzzle and match-threeee!... what do you think? Classic?... okay, so I might not be destined to become an icon in my time, but the gameplay in Headcase Games' addictive arcade game sure is iconic. Originally featured in a positively ancient Mobile Monday, this snazzy little gem is now available to go anywhere your mobile device of choice is, even on NOOK or Kindle Fire with an upgraded presentation and a few new tricks!
180 is casual gameplay at its finest, but also at its simplest. Coloured gems descend from the top of the screen, and it's up to you to keep them away from the bottom for as long as you can by tapping to shoot gems of your own. If you get three of a kind horizontally or vertically, they'll disappear and you'll earn some points. Where 180 offers its own little twist on this familiar genre, however, is that each gem has two different colours... one on each side. You can just tap a gem (even one already onscreen) to flip it over and set up a big chain reaction. The trick is balancing your greed for big combos with the ever-increasing pace. The better you do, the faster things move, and new colours start popping up to contend with as well.
Make no mistake; 180 is not particularly deep, and it's not trying to be. Instead, it's trying to turn itself into a popcorn game... something you'll pick up whenever you have a free minute to kill and wind up devouring more than you intended. Its colourful presentation and mellow soundtrack are just serviceable, though the latter could use a punching up, but it's definitely the casual vibe the gameplay gives off that will keep drawing you back. It plugs into that part of our brain that's fascinated with bright colours, screensavers, and Winamp visualisations and demands constant entertainment. If you have a NOOK, Kindle Fire, or Android tablet you can play the Ultra version with different visuals, but if you're just looking for something that fits in your pocket to eat up a minute or thirty whenever you let it, you can't go wrong with this simple, addictive puzzler.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad (1st gen). Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.