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iPhone  header logo

Disco Bees

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Bee. S.

Product: Disco Bees | Developer: Space Inch | Publisher: Space Inch | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Disco Bees iPhone, thumbnail 1
Disco Bees is a knickerbocker glory. It's covered in a sticky, sweet sauce and presented beautifully in a flawless glass. Though you've tasted its contents many times before, it's nevertheless rich and delicious.

But if you want more than a mouthful you'll have to pay dearly for it, or start begging to get more for free, which leaves a bitter taste on your palate and a whistling hole in your wallet.

Beegin at the Beeginning

Part of this bitterness stems from just how wonderful the universe of Disco Bees is. It's a match-three puzzler, with tiles laid out on hexagonal grids of various designs. You swap two tiles so that you can line-up three colours (or more) in a row, whereupon they vanish from the board and more drop in to take take their place.

Match five tiles in one of a handful of layouts and you're awarded a special bee. When matched with a bee of the same colour, Boxer Bees will explode and remove one tile around them in every direction, while Ninjas will fly in a single direction and remove every tile along that path.

If you're really skilled, you can combine two types of special bee to amplify their effect. Combine the Ninja and the Boxer and you'll remove tiles along a line as well as every tile adjacent to that line.

Bee puns are plentiful, the presentation is wonderfully bright and cheery, and the game runs smoothly. The audio is great too, with a disco soundtrack keeping proceedings funky. Everything's going so well that you wonder how such bounty can be yours for free.

And then it all goes horribly wrong.

Buzz off

Disco Bees may be breezy and jovial, but it'll make you pay through the nose if you want to remain in its honey-drenched lands. Everything is up for sale.

IAPs explained
Super Bees are special bees that clear large swathes of other bees on the play field. The Ninja Duo, Boxer Bees, and Hipbee are all priced at the lower end of the scale and can help you make it through a tough level. If you're a couple of moves short from completing a stage, you can also pay for another five moves for 69p / 99c.

Level unlocks cost 69p / 99c each. Should you enjoy using the content you bought too much, you may need to buy some more energy to continue playing them, which is a further 69p / 99c.

None of the above includes being brought a drink first.
It provides the first two sets of levels for free, but after this you'll have to start spending money. That's a reasonable request - everyone's got to eat - but at 69p / 99c for every set of new levels (unless you harangue your pals on Facebook to unlock it for free) the cost soon mounts.

Once you've paid to play that content, you're then at the mercy of an energy system that thinks nothing of locking you out of the game.

Think about that for a moment: you pay to play a set of levels, and then the game tells you that you have to keep paying if you want to keep playing them. Not cool.

It's a pity, because the further into the game you get the more additional rules come into play. For example, Zombees, which must all be cleared in a limited number of moves. Fail to convert a Zombee in a turn and it will infect another of your normal bees. This makes for a good deal of depth in the latter stages.

But I don't think you'll want to stick around to see those levels - they're simply not worth the trouble and expense. You can play plenty of great match-three games on your iOS device, and while they may not all have the charm of Disco Bees, they don't have its avarice either.
Disco Bees
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 31 October 2013
It may look sweet and innocent, but this match-three puzzler is anything but when it comes to IAPs. The tactless begging for cash results in a product that's very poor value for money
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