Shibuya is an iPhone arcade puzzler from Nevercenter Games, an Indie developer out of Salt Lake City. You may have heard of Shibuya since it was part of the PAX 10, a showcase of 10 of the best Indie games around. It’s quick, stylish and addicting, just like any good puzzle game should be.
Like many a puzzle game Shibuya has a series of blocks fall from the top of the screen to bottom and like many a puzzle game when the blocks stack up to the top it’s game over but that’s about everything Shibuya has in common with your average puzzle game. Instead of preset shaped blocks every block is flat and fills the entire the screen. Instead of lining up blocks to get rid of them you assign them colours. The game gives you a colour and you can tap any block to change it to that, group two or more blocks of the same colour together and tap them to make them disappear. The goal is of course to use combos and massive blocks of colour to get a high score or last as long as possible, depending on the mode.
Perhaps a screen shot will help you better understand the mechanics at work. At the bottom you can see a simple two block combo and above it a green block. In the top left you see the incoming colours which can be applied to any block. Just like any good puzzle game should be it’s easy to get the hang, hard to master and impossible to put down. The game has five different speeds so you can get your bearings but playing on the higher speeds in encouraged since you get more points per combo.
The game also has some catchy tunes in the background and lets you listen to your own. The problem with this is that the game freezes for a second or two whenever it starts a new song with consequences ranging from a minor annoyance on Slow to game destroying on Fury. (Note: This could be due to me playing on an iPod Touch 2nd gen which is slower than the 3GS and 4 but I can’t test it on the newer hardware.) You can turn the music off to eliminate the problem but it’s a bit of a shame since the music suits the game so well.
As a side note while I do love Shibuya, if you couldn’t tell already this game will not work for colour blind people. If you have any type of colour blindness it’s best to stay away.
Shibuya is free until Monday when it’ll return to it’s regular price of $1.99 so pick it up now!
Developer: Nevercenter Games
Time: Quickplay matches last a mere two mins for those on the go but like any good puzzle game you can play it for hours on end.
Gripes: Music changes cause the game to stutter.
Get it for the: Addicting gameplay, cheap price (Regular $1.99), awesome music.