Humble Bundle with Android 6 ReviewGuest_Jim_* - June 21, 2013
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Fractal: Make Blooms Not War Review:
Fractal represents the only puzzle game in the bundle with its geometric, sometimes randomly generated field of hexagonal blocks to push. The object is to push the blocks into a larger hexagon, consisting of seven blocks, called a bloom. Blooms can overlap for bonuses, and each time a bloom is made, it will push out additional blocks, allowing for screen-clearing chain reactions.
The gameplay is mechanical simple, though it can become quite challenging over time. Additional colors, changing shapes of the game board, and the limited number of pushes will force you to think strategically, instead of just randomly pushing blocks until you win. While the mechanics are simple, the game does not come right out and say that, so if you go in blind (which you cannot if you have read this far) it may take a push or two to figure it out. Not a real issue for the game, but something potentially worth noting.
The graphics are somewhat minimalistic, with contrasting colors and simple patterns. Despite their simplicity, on my monitor they look as though they do not scale well, even at the best settings (which are set by a launcher, and not in game). Edges I would expect to be hard and linear appear to blur and round at corners. It also looks like anti-aliasing was being inappropriately applied. Granted this is probably not going to be noticeable to most people, but some of you will spot a lack of crispness, at least on the PC. On smartphones you may not even notice this, due to the higher pixel density of their screens. Possibly a larger Android tablet would show this.
The in-game soundtrack is appropriately ambient, as it is not supposed to drive you, but provide some background noise for those who want it. The soundtrack the bundle includes that you can download and listen to separately however, is a bit faster paced with a rhythm that will outrun your thoughts in the game. At least I have not heard the specific fast-paced track in the game yet.
What makes Fractal shine is its apparent simple, but actually deep gameplay as seemingly minor changes can greatly affect the challenges you face. It is not the best smartphone game for those with larger fingers, but is doable, so overall I can recommend this game to everyone interested in puzzlers. Go ahead and purchase the bundle if only for this.