Game Over Online ~ Joggle

GameOver Game Reviews - Joggle (c) Bapsoft, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Joggle (c) Bapsoft
System Requirements Palm III, PalmOS 3.0
Overall Rating 83%
Date Published Friday, September 14th, 2001 at 02:56 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

Joggle comes across as a title inspired by many of the other grid-like puzzle games although I can't exactly put my finger on which ones directly contributed to this interesting title. With that said, Joggle does not feature a massive learning curve. In fact, most puzzle-oriented players will probably figure it out within a few minutes if not immediately. While for people like me, there is a quick blurb within the game itself that introduces the concept of the game. Who was it that said that a game can take minutes to learn but a lifetime to master? There must have been thousands of variants of that phrase. Joggle can certainly fit in this description's criteria as well.

The premise of Joggle has the player matching similar spheres in rows of three, whether vertically, diagonally or horizontally. A row of three, when put together, will automatically disappear. At the beginning of the game, a fresh board is generated with scarce few empty spaces. You are to move a sphere from one place to any empty spot on the board. It doesn't have to be adjacent at all. Move it to a spot that does not dissolve a row of three and more spheres will crop up to take up precious space. This feature not only punishes the player for wanton moves, it forces them to prioritize between which rows should be dissolved first. It also solves a common problem with games based on random generators; that being the impossibilities of clearing an entire board.

It is much easier to plan ahead playing the color version of Joggle. At least for my brain, the colors allow me to conceptualize a few steps ahead of my impending move. The black and white version operates along similar lines except it replaces the colored spheres with numbers. For me, playing the color version introduces an unfair advantage, in that I can see the visual picture much more clearly. With that said, Joggle does not require you to possess insight into the future like Kasparov or Deep Blue. You don't need to construct cataclysmic chaos like in Bust a Move and make everything fall over like a row of dominoes.

Joggle comes with various tilesets that change the normal spheres into something else: including dice, squares and numbered spheres. The game has no time-constrained pressure. The relatively simple play makes it easy to pick up from a pre-existing game on the go. Its demand on your mental abilities is quite minimal which probably explains the reason why you can easily return to the game after significant absenteeism. You can use as many moves as you want to solve the puzzle and it's rather hard to lose a game (although that doesn't mean you won't give up on a specific board). My only wish , since there is so little inherent pressure, was for an undo last move button.

Taking up less than one hundred kilobytes, Joggle is not a burden on even the most limited handhelds. However, those with older handhelds may be at a bit of disadvantage. The game requires Palm OS v3.5 which prevents some value PDAs (IIIe for example) or people who have yet to upgrade their own (III, IIIx) from starting the game. It can effortlessly be played with one hand or stylus. With its quick access to sound volume, you could sneak this into a bunch of public places that more complicated games would not work. I've tried it in lineups and on the go in the subway or train with no complaints whatsoever. Serious puzzle fans might be a bit dismayed at the difficulty but for me, the steepness of the challenge was just right. It has the right balance between light hearted fun and a mild 'jog' (no pun intended) of one's mind.

[08/10] Addictiveness
[16/20] Gameplay
[12/15] Graphics
[09/10] Interface/controls
[10/10] Program Size
[02/05] Sound
[05/05] Discreetness
[13/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


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