Published on October 10th, 2009 | by AppTrawler0
Pop Balloons to win prizes in PUFF
There are a ton of puzzle games in the app store, but PUFF takes a unique approach to the genre. In this game, your objective is to pop enough balloons to drop the prize box and see what you’ve won. It sounds simple, but there are rules that make things a bit more difficult.
The first thing you must do in this game is to create a customized balloon to act as your avatar. You can simply pick a color, or you can add a custom picture to the balloon, making it truly yours. After picking a name, you’re ready to go. Tapping on the prize box will bring up the first puzzle. The puzzle is an arrangement of balloons of varying colors with a prize attached to the end of all the balloon strings. Sometimes the arrangement will be a random shape, while other times it will actually resemble an object such as a chair. You can rotate the puzzle three hundred and sixty degrees and zoom in to get a better view of exactly where you should start popping balloons. You can only pop balloons that are directly next to a balloon of the same color. Balloons that are surrounded on all four sides are off limits. All you have to do is tap on a balloon and the surrounding balloons of the same color will pop. Some balloons have point multipliers attached to them, while others have special power-ups. These power-ups include a bomb that will destroy all nearby balloons, birds that fly by to pop balloons, and lightning bolts that eliminate all balloons in a single line. The catch is that you have to pop a certain number of balloons to release the prize and you must choose the right path in order to meet the quota. Sometimes you may get stuck toward the end with one or two balloons left to pop, but the rest of them are all next to different colors.
In this case, you have an undo button! You can go back any number of turns, even all the way back to the beginning, without penalty. So, even if you get stuck, you can try the level as many times as you want.
When you’ve released the prize, the level is complete and you are brought back to the main screen to view your points and other statistics. Your points keep accumulating while you win more prizes and the difficulty increases at predefined point levels. You can also view the leader board and check weekly, monthly or overall scores. Spinning the virtual globe will show you where the top scores originate.
PUFF includes a great sound track and ambient sounds to accompany your puzzle-solving adventure. But, if you don’t care for it, you can easily play your own music from the iPod.
Graphics are nothing spectacular, although the balloons do include subtle animations that look great. The balloon popping experience is definitely fulfilling. I also love that you can spin the puzzle in any direction to get a better view. However, I do wish the background would change a bit from time to time. The blue sky and white clouds get a little old.
PUFF isn’t really an amazing game you’ll want to play for hours on end. The gameplay does get a bit boring, as popping balloons is all you do for the entire time and the puzzles are also not very challenging. You’ll find yourself randomly popping balloons more often than actually thinking your way through it. The bottom line is that PUFF will only entertain you for a short time. If you’re desperately looking for a new type of puzzle game, then this one’s for you. If not, then I would pass.