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Posted by on Jul 31, 2013

REVIEW: Dessert Storm

REVIEW: Dessert Storm

Title: Dessert Storm
Platforms: Apple & Android (played on iPhone)
Developer/Publisher: EnsenaSoft
Release Date: July 8, 2013
Pricing: $0.99 (free version available)
Tagline: Dessert-themed Match-3 puzzler kids might dig.
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.

I’ll come right out and say it – I don’t like Match-3 games. I’ve tried several, and they’ve just never been my thing. My brain is not wired to think ahead in this style of puzzle, and I end up randomly spotting matches and tapping away without much forethought. No strategy, no fun.

While I may not have been playing Dessert Storm like a pro, I was playing it like a casual gamer. And, I would imagine, that’s how most people will play. Here and there, on the train, for a few minutes in the evening when I was bored. It’s a time-killer, but it’s not for me. There are so many more interesting games available that I can’t recommend it unless you’re hard up for a new Match-3 puzzler and/or love games featuring colorful, anthropomorphic bowls of ice cream and sweets-based icons. (Hey, kids!)

EnsenaSoft always stresses that they like making games that appeal to children. And there is a free Dessert Storm where you can play 7 of the 21 stages. But I’m playing the full, $0.99 version, and I’m 32.

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There are 3 modes of play: Relax, Classic and Rush.

Relax is endless, low-impact. Classic adds a timer and must-clear white tiles into the equation. Clear a dessert on top of each space to win the level. Rush is, of course, the tough one. You’re to tap puzzle pieces along to Rush’s winding rock classic, YYZ. Wait, no. I mean fast. You only get a few seconds on the clock, which is replenished a bit each time you make clear some tiles…so you’ll have to play faster.

That armless, legless literal ice cream man offers instructions here and there.

Tap a tile, then tap where you want to move it” is a simple enough concept. But the controls are tough on iPhone. You’re tapping tiny tiles with your meaty index finger and precision can be lacking. Maybe that problem goes away if you play on iPad, but I wasn’t. It renders Rush mode impossible.

“If you’re a Match-3 mega-fan, you may be more forgiving. If you’re 7, you’ll probably think I’m crazy for not naming Dessert Storm Game of the Year. But for the rest of us…it costs $0.99, and there are FREE mobile games that offer more depth, originality and artistic integrity. Those things should ALWAYS be important to a developer.”

Nothing spectacular to speak of visually. It’s bright and cartoony, enticing to kids in the same way an ice cream truck menu might be. You will not want to download the soundtrack. Merry-go-round-style “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” is kind of what’s up here. Boppy, clappy, generic circus music. Fits the theme.

It’s all…just kind of there.

EnsenaSoft has built a dessert-themed Match-3 game, probably with bored kids in mind. It’s free to play, but the look is a bit bush league if we’re being honest. I know some players won’t pay attention to the generic, clip art-y visual elements, or equate what they’re seeing with countless other simple, kind of ugly mobile games…but I do.

I’m an actual gamer, and I’ve seen what mobile games of capable of being. I demand better. More polish, more style, more actual personality.

I will say that the entire game is just here. You pay the dollar, you get the whole thing. There’s no constant hounding for IAP, no Candy Crush Saga-style move countdowns. Just a bunch of levels, with slight mode variations. You pick a mode and you play.

Well, maybe you do. I don’t.

Dessert Storm shows that “theme” and “personality” are different words for a reason.

This is just my opinion – it may completely work for you. Feel free to give it a spin – the trial version doesn’t cost you anything. If you’re a mega-fan of this kind of game, you may be more forgiving. If you’re 7, you’ll probably think I’m crazy for not naming Dessert Storm Game of the Year.

But for the rest of us…it costs $0.99, and there are free mobile games that offer more depth, originality and artistic integrity. Those things may not be the point of Dessert Storm, but they should ALWAYS be important to a developer. I even got slowdown on the damn menu screen, which is just a few buttons and Tex Avery-looking ice cream truck with eyes smiling at you.

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So, yeah.

Not an Official Tony-Endorsed Mobile Must-Play™ by any means.

C’mon, EnsenaSoft. You have a 3D brain pretzel space mahjong game, for crying out loud! I KNOW you can be more creative than this.

YEAH!

  • Multiple modes of play, including endless
  • Might be a cheap way to entertain the littles for a while

UNYEAH…

  • Not terribly inspired, gets a bit repetitive
  • Not much variety to the kinda’ simplistic, visuals
  • Some difficulty with controls on iPhone
  • Some slowdown, especially on the main menu

Family Focus
Dessesrt Storm is very family friendly. In fact, it’s pretty much made for kids given the visuals and music. Nothing remotely questionable about it – unless you’re skittish about it brainwashing children into wanting more sweets!

Tony Sadowski

Tony is a Philadelphia-based writer and producer with a taste for the quirky and comical. A lifelong gamer and pop culture addict, he is also 1/3 of the team behind the You Like the Worst Stuff podcast. Connect with him using the links below, especially on Twitter @TweetsByTheTony. Or send your thoughts to tony@ggsgamer.com!

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