At this point, it's almost impossible to avoid playing a match three puzzle game on the iPhone, whether it's Bejeweled 2, Puzzle Quest or what seems like hundreds of clones, all of which challenge you to group similarly colored objects to make them disappear. Electronic Arts' upcoming title, Liqua Pop, follows this basic premise, yet it looks like nothing we've seen. With so much competition, that's definitely a good thing.
Played holding the iPhone vertically, the game throws different colored globs of liquid onto the screen and challenges you to group like colors (at least four) together by dragging them towards each other, whereupon which they merge, creating one massive blob.
In most games, these objects would explode automatically, but not in Liqua Pop. Instead, you receive a limited amount of time to add even more globs; double tap said glob to reset the timer. From there, you can let nature take its course and watch everything burst, or speed things up by giving the iPhone a good shake.
Meanwhile, EA throws you a curve in the form of seven bugs, all of which affect the game in some fashion. Bonus bugs help you score lots of points, color changing bugs transform all of the on screen globs one color and bomb bugs create a massive chain reaction.
That said, not all of these insects work in your favor. Take the void bug, for instance. This little guy drops an immovable object onto the play field, taking up a hefty piece of screen real estate, while the Mono Bug turns everything black and white, forcing you to frantically match those colors to bring everything back to normal.
What's the point of doing all this? The goal is to match/pop a set amount of colors to make a cute amphibian (nicknamed Toadie) climb from the bottom of the screen to the top; if it reaches the water droplet, you move to the next stage.
Now all we need is a release date. The game's ready for prime time, so expect to see it (and our review) in the coming weeks.