Is there room for another Bejeweled clone in the App Store? I'd rather play the original version online, but the three-men team at Void Software is committed to prove that the concept can be fun with an original twist.
Quis [iTunes Link] is a match-three game where you to combine hexagons of the same colour to clear the screen as fast as possible. Using swipe gestures or taps, you will need to align the correct combination of pieces as they fall from the top of the screen and before they reach the bottom.
The game also increases its pace as you progress, dropping lines of hexagons faster, quickly cluttering your screen. Surprisingly, Quis also has a button to speed up things, which I found specially useful at the beginning of the level when speed is low.
Unlike games like Tetris, in Quis the player has several lives per level, allowing you to keep on playing for a while until you unlock the next challenge. In some levels you even get extra lives in power up blocks and there is a reason for that. Every time an hexagon reaches the bottom of the screen, you loose one life. If you just happened to plan poorly and get two long columns of unmatchable hexagons, those lives can go very quickly.
To add some extra fun to the gameplay, the creators have also included power ups including an electric blast that destroys every hexagon on the same line, bombs and other bonuses that I haven't unlocked yet. I found these quite useful and helped me to plan my moves ahead, as there is nothing worst than blasting a whole line of hexagons to realise that there some lonely ones have been left with the impossibility of matching them with their neighbours.
The issue that bugged me most is matching the actual numbers on the blocks. The instructions say that you can combine hexagons of the same colours and numbers, but I never managed to match hexagons of different colour with the same number! If this is actually the case, then there's surely no reason to write numbers on them.
A second issue arises with the combination options: when I intentionally move certain pieces to create a good combo, only one of the colour sets disappears, leaving the second and third one for your next moves. I'm not sure wether this is intentional or not, but I would have liked the behaviour you can see on the Bejeweled franchise, where you make one move and every other piece falls into place making a greater combo.
Update: The developer has answered to my question via email about these two drawbacks. It turns out that number combinations are only available on levels 3, 4 and 6! Basically you cannot attempt matching colours and numbers simultaneously unless you are on the bonus level. Regarding combination combos, Milika, from Void Software, explained me that they tried the idea but would make the game too easy, especially on the first levels. They might try to incorporate something like this in the future if they can avoid breaking all the blocks at once!
After some time playing Quis I forgot about these two issues and kept concentrated making only allowed moves, since a point is deducted from the score every time you try an incorrect move. For the reasons mentioned above, this can take a while to master.
Overall, Quis is a fun match-three game that puts your logic skills to test under the pressure of the clock. Puzzle fans who have already played similar games will find it a bit more dynamic and hectic than your average match-three title. While graphics and sounds are adequate, the game falls short on some gameplay elements and very confusing set of instructions.