Ponk App Review – Gotta Ponk em’ All!

Again, my case about never playing a match-3 game ever again has been breached. This time, I am very happy with my decision because the result is one so good. The result? Ponk.

Making its way into the puzzle/arcade genre(s) is Ponk, a wonderful and colorful match-3 game from iPhone and iPod Touch developers Itchy Mitshi. The game requires a heck-load of dragging, a keen site on your part, and of course a mind for connecting three!

In the game, your object like other of the genre, is to match up 3 of the same color object to make them disappear and earn points and further rack up combos. In this case, you are matching up different colored splotches that will float down from the top of the screen. The background kind of looks like a tetris/connect 4-esque kind of thing with the gameplay extending that though. As the splotches float down, they will be assigned a different column. Like tetris, you can control the movement of the splotches with your finger by simply dragging: you can bring them down faster rather than their slow, regular arrivals, or change the column that they will fall into.

Like any other match-3 game, connecting three same colored splotches will result in added points to your overall score, and the connected splotches will pop (or ponk) and everything above it will fall down replacing the spots that the former splotches took. You can connect the splotches horizontally or vertically.

The game features a normal scoring system. For each line of 3 splotches you’ll get a certain amount of points. You can even connect more than 3, which is where strategy comes in, to receive extra points. In certain instances, you will build up a little “superpower” kind of thing called “Freeze Mode”. This will enable you to arrange the splotches in a different way for a short amount of time acting as a remedy to the mistakes you made when the splotches rained down.

Personally, I think that puzzle games with only one game mode are utterly boring. The gameplay gets old and repetitive and eventually you delete the app. On the other hand, Ponk has three game modes that revolve around the same main premise but each have a different sub-premise. The first mode which I find myself playing most is the Klassic Mode. This mode has you matching the splotches constantly until either the screen fills up completely, or there are no more combination available for the taking. Your highscore is saved if one is achieved, and the game restarts. The next mode that I play often is the Time Attack Mode. In this mode, you will take the clock on in a head to head battle where you must keep adding more time to it so that it never runs out. And finally, the Kaboum Mode where there are special splotches that run along the bottom of the screen and your job is to get rid of them with special bomb-splotches that are earned by making combos.

You could consider OpeFeint as a game mode in its own way, so if you do Ponk has 4 in total. Yes, OpenFeint
is included packed with all of the best: 43 achievements and leaderboards to boost up the level of competition.

One thing that the game really misses out on is a multiplayer mode. Like in Piyo Blocks 2, I wish that the game allowed you to connect with friends worldwide to compete in a battle full with powerups and other things to make the game competitive. Every time I open up the app, I think about how much the game needs the mode to be fully complete.

Apple featured the game in their New and Noteworthy section of the App Store last week, and if I had my own store I would’ve too. It sells at only $1.99 and is well worth it if you think about it: it’s got cute cartoon graphics, a simple yet challenging premise in mind, and more potential than a lot of the other games on the market. Although it’s missing the multiplayer mode, I recommend the game fully to all who consider the purchase.