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Puzzle Cosmos

For: iPhone

Meet your match

Product: Puzzle Cosmos | Developer: PONOS | Publisher: PONOS | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
Puzzle Cosmos iPhone, thumbnail 1
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

It’s good advice for life. When it comes to games, though, I live by a slightly extended mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If you still don’t succeed after that, there’s something wrong with the game.

You won’t succeed at Puzzle Cosmos the first, second, or third time, which points to something being wrong with this otherwise interesting puzzler.

Like a rolling stone

At first glance Puzzle Cosmos is a fairly typical match-three - in this case, match-four - puzzler. Sure enough, elements of Tetris and Lumines are mashed together to form a competent block-matching experience.

What differentiates the game, though, is the way you move and rotate the blocks that appear. Rather than sliding them about at will, or using gravity to slot them into place, you have to roll them to their destination. Each square block formation – comprising at most four multi-coloured blocks – can be rolled to the left or right like a primitive wheel.

Once you’ve settled on the right location, swiping down or hitting the virtual down button (there are two control systems available) makes the blocks come apart and settle into the landscape, forming familiar chains if they touch three or more of the same colour.

Mental blocks

This presents some intriguing problems like built-up sections of the board over which you can't roll over. Instead, your block-wheel rotates ineffectually on the spot. Although this can be turned to your advantage.

Despite this promising setup, though, Puzzle Cosmos is just too difficult for its own good. After Standard mode there are three others that I’d bet you'll never see, as the conditions for unlocking them are set too high. Just unlocking the first of them, Time Attack mode, is a serious challenge.

There’s little else to keep you plugging away at this first quarter of the game, with the generic neon visuals and a decent, if not typical techno soundtrack that reinforces the game's huge debt to Lumines.

Puzzle Cosmos is a decent puzzler with a fairly innovative block-dropping mechanism, but it will prove to be too punishing for most. If after a dozen times you don’t succeed, find another puzzle game.
Puzzle Cosmos
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 28 August 2010
Despite its iintriguing take on match-three puzzle play, Puzzle Cosmos is just too hard to be enjoyable
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Anonymous | 21:31 - 30 August 2010
Not being able to unlock the second mode points to there being something wrong with the reviewer - not with the game.