iPhone puzzler Ponk is fun, but not very innovative

Nov 18, 2010
Games

The iPhone puzzle game, Ponk, harkens back to some of the great puzzle games of the last few years. It functions pretty basically as a Tetris/Bejeweled hybrid, but works in a few other common features from similar puzzle games, like bombs that clear sections of the game board. Ponk is fun the way these other […]

The iPhone puzzle game, Ponk, harkens back to some of the great puzzle games of the last few years. It functions pretty basically as a Tetris/Bejeweled hybrid, but works in a few other common features from similar puzzle games, like bombs that clear sections of the game board. Ponk is fun the way these other games are fun, but it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre.

The game starts with a vertical screen in which colored balls fall from the top. You can touch the balls and drag them around the screen so they fall where you want, and when you set three balls of the same color in a group or line, they’re eliminated. You earn points by clearing the balls off the screen and preventing them from stacking up so high that no other balls can fall.

Ponk mixes things up by tossing in balls you can’t control on their way down, and adds colored bombs that you can add to clusters that will clear a section of the screen when you set them. There also are other balls that will eliminate all the balls of a single color on the screen, and balls that can only be removed with bombs.

It’s a fun time, but it’s all pretty standard. Every so often, Ponk adds a line of random colored balls to the bottom of the screen to keep you on your toes, and basically this is because things get a little too easy. It actually feels a bit cheap, like the game sabotages you on purpose, but it’s not such a big deal in the long run.

Ponk comes with a bomb-centric game type that’s kind of fun, and a timed version as well. They all work well, but they’re unremarkable. If you need a new puzzle game, Ponk is definitely competent and can be fun, but it never achieves the excitement that would make it addictive.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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