Blizz is a mobile matching puzzle game from Hex3d set in a futuristic world where ice is a bit of a problem. Hexagon tiles on a hexagon grid form your playing field, and all you have to do is drag things around to make matches and shut down the reactor. It's familiar enough concept to rope you in from the start, but the shifted focus from making matches to freeing up frozen cells that need to be matched creates an endless cycle of preparing and setting off chain reactions, one of the most satisfying parts of any puzzle game. Do your job well and you just might save the world!
In the year 2088, global warming became a serious issue. Scientists got together to fix things once and for all, and so the Blizzadrome was born. This massive city-sized machine regulated temperature on a worldwide scale, but as technology is wont to do, the Blizzadrome began to malfunction. The thermostat went out of control and the cooling never stopped, plunging the world into an artificial ice age. Now, scientists head below to deactivate the reactors, but the frost is so overpowering none have been successful. Get your coat, because now it's your turn!
To save the world, you're going to need to detonate the cells that fuel the Blizzadrome's reactors. Fortunately, this process is a lot like playing Bejeweled, only with a little more lateral strategy and a lot more pressure. Tap and drag to move colored cells anywhere on the grid. Make a match of four or more and they vanish, dropping new cells in to take their place. Over time different groups of cells become frozen, rendering them incapable of being matched. To unfreeze them you have to clear adjacent cells. If you don't, the entire grid will eventually look like a skating rink. Progressing in the game becomes a process of placing frozen cells near potential matches, then flipping the switch to create a cascade of vanishing cells and broken ice. Strangely enough, it's pretty exciting!
Analysis: Matching puzzle games haven't enjoyed much attention over the past few years. If you want to succeed with the genre, it seems like you've got to make a hybrid like Puzzle Quest or BioGems. Hex3d says "forget that" and keeps the puzzle game firmly rooted in its origins, working with the very core mechanics of the game to create something both interesting and challenging. Plus, it totally helps to have the awesome sci-fi backdrop and a killer soundtrack!
Blizz comes with two main modes of play: survival and puzzle. Survival mode gives you a progressively more challenging matching journey down to the depths of the Blizzadrome. Puzzle mode, on the other hand, sets you loose on missions that require a precise economy of moves, not fast swapping. There are hundreds of levels to play, and survival mode never seems to get old. There's no high score tracking or anything like that, which you may or may not miss, but the challenge level is high enough that when you finish a level, you'll pat yourself on the back.
A good, solid puzzle game that isn't afraid to keep things streamlined. Come for the scientists saving the world, stay for the excellent combination of speed and tile swapping strategy.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Nexus 4. 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.