Windows Phone Reviews - Droplitz Delight
Recently it appears that the $2.99 minimum for Windows Phone games has recently been lowered to a more reasonable $.99, with now some newer releases only costing a dollar from the day of release. One of those particular games is Droplitz Delight. Some of you may be familiar with Droplitz which was released as an XBLA game, and this game would be its "sequel" if such a thing can exist in basic puzzle games.
The premise is simple, Droplitz get dropped in from the top and your job is to rearrange the circular tiles to create a path for them to "escape" out the bottom. Obviously there are several different shaped tiles and rotating them in various directions can allow a path to be created. As a note, even though the tiles are circular they rotate like a hexagon so in theory 6 different positions could be created for each one. Once a path is created, the used tiles will disappear and award you points, and new tiles will drop in so new paths can be made.
Look at that awesome double path
There are a whopping three different modes to the game. Target Quest mode is the equivalent of a "story" mode in the game, each level you have to rescue a certain (seemingly unknown) number of Droplitz until a special tile appears. When you create a path with this tile you will advance to the next level. There are a total of 40 progressively harder levels, but other than the speed of the Droplitz falling, not much is different in each level.
The remaining two modes are Droplitz Dash, a mode where the goal is to score as many points in a fixed amount of time, and Classic mode, where you choose a difficulty and play until you run out of Droplitz. Creating paths and removing tiles add additional Droplitz for your use, and Droplitz flowing through incomplete paths remove them. Once you are out of Droplitz the game is over and the goal is as high of a score as possible. The three difficulties in this mode just increase the starting speed of the Droplitz and the rate of speed increase as well.
So how are points tallied? Well, you get points for each Droplitz that makes it through the path you made, along with points for each tile that is used to create the path. The important way to get points for yourself is the multiplier. The multiplier can be increased in two ways, the first being to create multiple paths to the bottom during one play, or as soon as the other tiles drop in, to have another path created (or get lucky and have one automatically made), to keep the multiplier going. If a combo is created by tiles falling into place on their own (either from previous moves made, or lucky new tiles) a "Chain Reaction" occurs netting a few additional points. Once no paths are available after new tiles drop in, the multiplier ends.
This picture is an example of a x8 multiplier, there are 3 separate paths that all get "split" at the bottom to two separate bottom paths. However the middle path actually has two Droplitz going down it due to both starting paths being split into it.
In all honesty there are really only two strategies to this game. The first is to try to line up unused tiles to create as much of a path as possible so when new ones drop in, you are more likely to have an immediate combo. The second is simply to create a path using as many tiles splitting as possible, with them all meeting up again to get to the bottom. In fact I had one combo that used nearly every tile on the board, split several times and got me a x14 multiplier, and netted me almost 3000 points simply for that one combo (no new ones were created when the tiles dropped in). The only "unusual" tile is a tile that falls in the board that either acts as an inlet for Droplitz to fall in from the top, or an outlet to create a path to the bottom. These are recognized by the fact they only have one point of entry/exit on the tile.
So bottom line is this: the game is a relatively fun puzzle game that requires you to react quickly to make paths. The modes don't feel varied enough, and nothing additional is added to the game as you play. The only redeeming factor is that the game only costs a dollar, so unless you enjoy puzzle games this one is probably not for you: 6.5/10.
Although several of the achievements in the game are based on skill, there is also a fair amount of this being luck based. There are tricks that can be used like "pausing" the game by holding the back button to have more time to think, or backing out of games after combos are completed to get a countdown timer and a few free seconds to move tiles without Droplitz being wasted, however this game is still fairly hard to complete. I honestly can't imagine doing every single achievement without at least some of these tricks. You can line up tiles to your heart's content, and be screwed by bad tiles dropping in, with no quick paths to be made.
Bottom line for achievements: some people will have no problem with this game (I'm looking at you Evol), but it is not easy or quick to get many achievements. If you are looking to complete it, be prepared to be frustrated and learn how to react quickly.