Monday, May 2, 2011

Mix Match Review

Mix Match
Mix Match reminds me a bit of some of the Wii or Nintendo DS mini-game packs or brain training games. There isn't a lot to learn about this game. You move the center tile to one of the four corners that match the type of tile is being shown. You have shapes, letters, numbers, and yellow smiley faces. I ran in to several problems with the game. For a game that depends on speed, I had problems that it didn't always detect my swipes or it detected them wrong saying I was trying to move a tile to the wrong corner. I am not sure what the issue was given that Fruit Ninja and similar games work fine. The initial directions are printed in a very small font making it hard to read them and they do not adequately explain what is expected at each level. As I was moving up in levels it wasn't clearly explained what the goal of each level was such as how many tiles in X time or X time to do as many tiles as possible. The idea here is not particularly orginal as I have seen several programs do this exact thing in brain training type program. It would help though if the directions for each level were make clearer.

The game mechanics are quite simple, and everyone should have no problem understanding what to do once the objective is clear. The screen-shot here shows that the "C" title is in the center so you would move/swipe the tile to the upper right hand corner where the "ABC" title is located.  You can see the numbers, faces and shapes in the other three corners. If you try and move a title into the wrong corner you will hear a bell sound letting you know that your attempting to move the title to the wrong corner. The game mechanics are all that hard. It is the fact that everything is timed and must be done quickly is what adds to the difficulty causing you think fast and accurately. It is developing pattern recognition as well as hand-eye coordination. The combination of the two are suppose help your brain.

The application is listed in the Entertainment category, but I tend to think since it is so much like brain training programs that perhaps it should have gone in the Healthcare & Fitness category since things like these are suppose to help improve your brain's "health".

Given that this game is not particularly innovative and we have seen many of these types of applications, it starts out with only one star. The graphics are not particularly outstanding or impressive, but then given the game type I'm not sure what could be done to make them stand out. I'll give it another star for adequate graphics, but nothing special. The game mechanic is good, but the execution leaves something to be desired and may end up frustrating some people. This results in half a star due to issue of detecting correct movements reliably. This results in two and half stars for this application. If you don't already have a brain training program then this might be something you want to pick-up, especially with the cost being so low right now at its introduction.

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