SideSwype, a block-sliding, Match-3 game from Radiangames, is now available from the app store and the Google Play store. Featuring fun gameplay mechanics, dead simple controls, and a great soundtrack, SideSwype rides the line between simple timewaster and strategic high score chaser.
- Clean interface, simple mechanics
- Intuitive swipe controls
- The soundtrack features two great tunes
- Can be played casually or with a strategic mindset for high score chasing
- GameCenter integration for a global leaderboard and nearly a dozen achievements to earn
- The menu button is too easy to hit accidentally
- Can feel too easy and a little repetitive after a while
SideSwype is played on a 5×5 grid containing a smattering of blocks in two distinct colours. Each swipes up, down, left, or right sends all blocks careening into the wall as far as they can go. If three blocks of the same colour line up, they’ll disappear and you’ll score points. After each swipe, a number of new blocks will appear on the board. The number of blocks and the make-up of their colours is previewed at the screen bottom, though the locations where they appear are randomized. After a short time, blocks with the number 4 or 5 will appear. These must be matched with the indicated number of blocks, at which time they will morph into one of two special block types. If you then match three blocks using the first special block type, all adjacent blocks will be eliminated, too. Matching 3 blocks with the second type will cause all blocks of the same on the board to disappear. Each time that any blocks are eliminated, a scoring summary slides into view momentarily to let you know how you earned your score. Using the special block types to eliminate difficult-to-match 4-blocks and 5-blocks is a helpful strategy. Gameplay continues until the board fills and you cannot make any additional moves.
The graphical interface is clean, as you’d expect from a Radiangames title. Performing specified numbers of certain tasks unlocks access to different colour schemes, all of which look great. The animations are smooth and eliminated squares burst into a pleasing shower of pixels. Our only issue was with the placement of the menu button, which looms large at the screen bottom. As we like to use our thumb to swipe near the screen bottom, we would occasionally trigger the menu button when we meant to make a move in the game. A minor annoyance, to be sure, but one that could easily be fixed by moving the button elsewhere. Otherwise, the controls are very effective. The soundtrack features a pair of tunes, named Fire and Ice, that complement the game nicely and provide an audio treat. Replay value comes from trying to best your previous high score. You can also compare scores against other players on the GameCenter leaderboards, or try to earn the 10 available achievements. SideSwype is also available for the Android platform, and we found that it played smoothly on a Nexus 7 and a Samsung Galaxy S4. A universal app for $1.99, SideSwype is a terrific 4-Dimple offering.