iCandy review (XBLIG)
iCandy is developed and published by Dandysoft. It was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace May 3, 2011 and cost 80MSP. A copy of the game was provided by the developer for review purposes.
iCandy is a board based, puzzle style game. This concept is a little different and makes for quit a challenge, you must place a candy square on every block of the board. This sounds simple enough, but the challenge comes in when you have to start matching the color and candy style of all blocks. You can complete a straight line, which makes the whole row disappear, but you have to keep in mind to keep all colors on the board and playable. 25 levels, 9 pretty girls, and trophies await you in this candy packed puzzler.
Here’s what we liked:
The challenge – The basic idea is the same, place one candy square on each grid block of the board at least once. Starting off with just two colors and two candies, each stage adds new color or another candy style and sometimes both. Finally you will end up with six colors and six style candies, that the game will throw at you randomly to fill the bored. This is where things start to become really harry.
Power ups – iCandy gives you five different special pieces, to help you on your journey. A rainbow: that you start each stage with and receive randomly through out each level; this piece is wild and can be played next to anything. Two kinds of bombs: red ones; that blow up four squares and black ones; that blow up only one. There is a golden star; that fills all the blocks in horizontally and vertically from where the star is. The last one is kinda just a swirly star, lining up bombs horizontally and vertically, blowing up all candy underneath.
Trophies – This is always something that is nice to see in an indie game. They may not be allowed to give us real ones, but at least they are making an effort. Things like this have definitely changed the replay value of a game, which now-a-days is always a good thing.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Level design – Each level is the exact same other then more colors and pieces. Multicolored candies for the backdrop, a gray grid and your menu to the right. This gets old by level three, pretty soon you find that you have just blocked the boring surroundings out. They could of at least of changed the background to different candy; even rotating three or four backgrounds would have been okay.
The pretty girls – This is such a sad, sad ploy to make men buy this game. There are 9 different photos that are covered up by squares that represent the trophies. Although the trophies are nice, these pictures are unnecessary and serve no purpose. They kinda take away from a puzzle game, that could have been family friendly, but now kinda isn’t.
Music – The music is very boring and redundant. It will force you in to a manic rage by level 3 or 4, at this point it becomes time to start your own music. If you have no music, then get some of course, but even playing it in silence is better then this soundtrack.
With some lackluster level designs and a horrible choice of music and pictures, iCandy still manages to be a half way decent puzzle game. It does a nice job at keeping you decently challenged, constantly moving the skill bar up just a bit each level. So with your own soundtrack, a love for puzzlers and a few hours to spare this may be a good way for you to spend your afternoon.
Score: Try it