by: Naughty Cat Studios
Jelly Mania is a colorful cutesy looking match-3 puzzle that adds a power up mechanic to mix things up a little bit when rescuing gelatin friends. Save the jallies from the big cat by using lots of power ups and beating the hundreds of unique challenges.
Gameplay 86%Jelly Mania is a traditional Match-3 puzzle game where you touch a colorful gelatin character in a grid, and then move it one space left, right, up or down. If you line up 3 or more, a match will be made and you’ll rescue them, if not, they’ll return to their original spaces. The objective of the game is to collect a certain number of jellies of a given color before you run out of moves. What makes the gameplay a little different from the usual, is that when you make a match, the surrounding jellies get “powered up”, so they worth more. Let’s say you make a simple match-3, and next to you the a jelly gets +1. If you use it in the next turn with 2 normal jellies, you’ll rescue 4 jellies in the counter. This only works in the next immediate turn, in the 2nd turn powered up jellies return to normal. When you make a match-4, the space where the last switch was made will turn into a “power up” space. When you make a match on it, magic bubbles will appear and power up jellies of the color of the match. There’s also an item that powers up all jellies of the color of your choice. And if you line up 5 jellies, you create a special bomb space, that when used disappears all jellies of the color of the match created on it. If you make a 5 match in a way that you connect 3 jellies vertically and 3 horizontally, you create an cross bomb space. When you make a match over the space, a flash of light will appear that takes out a whole row or column. The cross bomb it’s also a special item that you can buy at the beginning of the level and use it where you want it. Another special item is the spoon, that takes out the jelly of your choice in the grid, and the kitchen mittens, which let you switch any jelly of your choice with another one anywhere on the grid. And finally there’s the rainbow straw, that rescues all the jellies in the grid of any color you want. Besides boosters, there are two special kinds of objects in the grid. One is a gelatin that can’t be matched, and it’s being prepared by making matches next to it. It starts with a base, then gets it’s color, and then some extra ingredients before being rescued, so it can take up to 3 matches next to it. Then there’s the jelly cup, which is just a base ingredient, and you connect 3 of them order to make a normal jelly and then rescue it. The jelly cup at least leaves a special power up space when you match 4 or 5 of them.
Graphics 94%Jelly Mania features great looking hand-drawn art with a cutesy style. The jellies are colorful, have different shapes, and you can see how detailed they are in their shading and shining parts. They’re also very expressive and you can notice how they look around, see where new matches are being made and react to your actions while playing. The power ups and special items show cool light effects and everything just looks sweet and bouncy when new jellies come when you rescue some in the grid. When you make combos, words such as “Good”, “Awesome” and “Excellent” appear depending on how long the cascade was. It should be said that the background is a little too blurry, and while the world map looks nice and you change setting every 10 levels or so, you really don’t notice much of a difference because it’s so out of focus. A minor complain really, most of the time you won’t notice since the jellies are so well animated.
Production Quality 89%While Jelly Mania doesn’t deviate much from the usual match-3 puzzle formula, the whole power up gameplay mechanic adds an interesting twist, and in most games of the genre, if you match-4 or more objects, one of them becomes a bomb or something, but here it’s a space in the grid the one that turns special, so you can use other jellies on it, which makes for a different experience when playing. Also the jellies being prepared and the cups you have to match to create a normal jelly create more challenging levels, and a seasoned puzzle fan will be having a hard time by level 25. Besides the regular world map levels, there are extra more challenging levels where you can try your skills. It should be said that the music it’s also pretty good, relaxing and it matches the game perfectly, and you’ll hear more than just one tune, which is what most of the games in the genre offer. Some similar games using sweets or jellies or similar characters feature voices, and it would’ve been nice to hear our gelatin friends here, but as it is now, it’s still good.
Value for your Money 90%Jelly Mania is free on Google Play and the Apple App Store. You won’t see any advertising and while there are in-app transactions to buy boosters, if you’re good you won’t need them. For $4.99 you can buy a package of 50 or so in-game golden coins, and you can buy 5 extra turns for 10 golden coins when you lose. So you decide is you want to spend that much. A dollar for 5 more moves is not exactly on the cheap side.
SummaryJelly Mania is a cute looking puzzle that can be played by casual users and experience players alike. It has the traditional gameplay of a match-3 game, but with a few added mechanics that create a little different experience, so you won’t feel that you’ve already played this game. The visual quality and music is great, and it’s hard to put down once you’re into it, since it can get quite addictive. Check it out now if you enjoy the genre. Pros
- Very cute, colorful visual style with nice animation
- The power up mechanic creates a new gameplay experience for puzzle players
- Relaxing music, features different tunes
- The backgrounds look too blurry
- 5 extra turns are worth about a dollar