Super Juicy
Reviewed by Minna Kim Mazza
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2010-02-08 iPhone Action/Puzzle E (Everyone) Berzerker Games

Super Juicy is a delightfully addictive matching game, but with all of the bells and whistles that come with playing it on the iPhone device. Not only was I greeted with cute bubbly underwater background graphics, but the sounds of popping bubbles reminded me of just how stress-relieving this activity can be.

In essence, this is a "match-3" game, where you tap on a group of at least three bubbles to pop them, trying not to allow too many bubbles to build up on your screen, for which the game warns you with a fairly annoying but effective alarm sound. The beauty of Super Juicy is that the bubbles move with the same fluidity that you would expect from actual, real-life bubbles, which bounce a bit and slide around. The game also recognizes tilting movements, which allow you to use gravity to your advantage in piling up your bubbles.

There are four modes to the game: Classic, Action, Bonus Level, and Chaos Mode. Classic Mode takes you down the traditional route of clearing levels with increasing difficulty and variety, while Action Mode is a continuous mode that has your game on a timer as it increases in difficulty. Bonus Level Mode just lets you play the various Bonus Levels that you unlock during the Classic Mode. Chaos Mode is an ongoing leveling mode which challenges even the strongest of players.

In Classic Mode, the game starts with four different colors of bubbles to pop, and a timer at the top indicates how long you have until the level is complete. The faster you pop groups of bubbles, and the larger the number of bubbles in a group, the more likely you will rack up combo bonus points, or even a "Super Juicy" bonus. Touching the bubbles with fruit give you extra points at the end. Special bubbles that look like they contain bombs and black holes also help clear the board quickly. As you complete each level, the game introduces new challenges, such as new color bubbles, bubbles that grow quickly on their own, and metal plates that obstruct your ability to pop bubbles and can only be cleared by tapping bubbles with bombs. Every few levels, you play a Bonus Level that just throws out a bunch of bubbles moving quickly that you just pop as fast as possible, avoiding ones with spiked mines in them.

Action Mode allows you to test your skills in clearing the bubbles quickly, with combos, as well as touching bubbles with little clocks in them to increase the amount of time you have to play the Action Mode. I found this mode to actually be more challenging than in other games with similar modes, because I didn't find myself just playing the game forever and ever with no end in sight because I'm able to rack up so much extra time. Instead, my game could end in 20-30 seconds if I'm not diligent enough about the combos and clock bonuses. The timer bar moves pretty quickly as well.

Chaos Mode throws in some crazy game behaviors to make things more difficult. The very first level I played caught me off guard, with a fast stream of bubbles pouring into the screen, filling it up halfway within seconds. I found myself furiously tapping the screen, looking like a fool to whomever might be looking at me playing the game. Combine that with the behavior changing pretty often - the next "level" floated all the bubbles upward, with a stream of bubbles coming in from the top - and you have a worthy challenge for any die-hard puzzle gamer.

It's probably more fun to just get through levels and pop the bubbles than keep track of your actual score, especially since your score resets every time you lose and the game prompts you to try the level again. I'd recommend Super Juicy as a game that fully takes advantage of the iPhone's capabilities as a touch-screen, motion-sensing game.

Special thanks to Greg Hjelstrom and Berzerker Games for providing a copy of this title.