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Jedi Mind Tricks

For: Mobile

Size matters not

Product: Jedi Mind Tricks | Developer: Universomo | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: Film/ TV tie- in, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 778KB | Reviewed on: N81 8GB other handsets | Version: Europe
Jedi Mind Tricks Mobile, thumbnail 1
Because X-Wing Fighters, lightsabers, the Force, and Ewoks are so very cool (okay, perhaps not the Ewoks. They were rubbish) most Star Wars games struggle to tread any new ground.

There's no need to come up with inventive new gameplay when you can swing a lightsaber around and push Stormtroopers over using your mind.

Which makes Jedi Mind Tricks all the more unusual, and welcome. This isn't your usual daffodil-weak, micro-managed pseudo-fighter Star Wars fare, but a match-three puzzle game with a bit of strategy thrown in for good measure.

No try. Do, or do not. There is no try.

Looking at the match-three mechanics first, Jedi Mind Tricks immediately makes clear how it differs from your usual Bejeweled-style gameplay. Rather than swapping the icons with those immediately adjacent, your ability to use the Force propels the selected tile to the far end of the game board in whichever vertical or horizontal direction you throw it.

All the other icons in that row then shift to fill the gap, which is how you create a row of three. For example, you might not necessarily align three icons against the edge of the game board, where you just threw your tile, but the resulting shift as the row moves to fill the gap could create a combination of three pieces elsewhere on the affected row.

It's simple enough when you see it in action, but it's immensely challenging spotting exactly where you're able to make those essential combinations.

Excitement? Adventure? A Jedi craves not these things.

On top of this unusual match-three mechanic are the battles. The game is played against another Jedi, taking it in turns to move pieces on the board to build matching rows and columns of three, four, or five.

By matching the lightsaber icons you attack your enemy, reducing his energy bar. The Force icons allow you to build up your own power levels, inflicting more damage during attacks.

There are other elements also in play, like Thermal Detonators that blow a big chunk of icons off the board when activated, so there's plenty of strategy involved in figuring out the best way to take out your opponent - and it's not all about attacking.

Where the game struggles a bit is simply in its unusual operation. Combinations are quite easy to spot on a more traditional match-three game, but the repercussions of a move in Jedi Mind Tricks are so complex that any long term tactics are pretty much impossible to fathom.

That doesn't detract from the more arcadey aspects of play, however, and although it doesn't draw upon its Star Wars license particularly heavily (this game would work every bit as well even without the Lucasfilm branding) that's actually no bad thing.

You might not be particularly interested in Star Wars games (for the reasons listed at the beginning of this review) but Jedi Mind Tricks definitely shouldn't be overlooked if that's the case.

It's a game for the Bejeweled puzzle fans - not Star Wars fanatics - and one with a unique enough gameplay mechanic to get you hooked fast and hard.
Jedi Mind Tricks
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 25 November 2009
Star Wars has little or nothing to do with Jedi Mind Tricks from a gameplay sense, but that doesn't stop it from being a surprisingly unique new take on the match three style of game. Well worth a look if the gem-swapping puzzle games are your bag
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