Not a beer swilling darts player in sight.
Ok, let’s get something straight before we begin. In what could be seen as an epic mistake in the titling of this game, 180 has nothing to do with darts. It is a match three style puzzle game with a twist. Rather than relying on precision aiming to provide the challenge, the game is played with discs that have a different colour on each side, and can be flipped between the colours with a simple touch. The 180 in the title comes from this ability to turn the coins 180 degrees and reveal a different colour. Flip would have been a better name.
So, the player is presented with a collection of these double sided coins which slowly move down the screen when more are added at the top. At the bottom is the launcher, pre-loaded with the next available double sided coin. You simply tap on the screen to have the current coin launch to that location. Tapping on any coin on the screen, including the coin about to be launched, will change the coin to it’s alternate colour. Match three or more of the same colour to make them disappear.
The game provides a time attack style mode, with the player challenged to get the highest score possible within 90 seconds, and endless mode, where the player continues until the coins reach the bottom of the screen, and a drop attack mode which challenges the player to remove lines of coins and achieve a score in metres rather than points. There is also the choice of either easy or hard.
As with most games that are now available on the iPhone, 180 offers a social aspect to the game through Open Feint, allowing players to submit their score to the global leaderboard, compare with friends and even earn achievements.
On first playing this game, in any of the modes, it seems far too easy. Without the precision aiming that is required with most other match three type games, there is not much challenge. Add to that the fact that you can change the colours of the coins and any challenge that did exist is totally removed. Or so you would think…
In actual fact, the player is given too much freedom to succeed, making it easier to fail. Trying to get a massive number of coins with one shot is tempting and the player will find themselves waiting for one more line to descend from the top in order to just squeeze out a few more points. Or the may find themselves second guessing and keep flipping the coins in order to get a better combo.
Although the game only revolves around getting a higher score than last time, be it in points or distance, it is actually quite compulsive, making the player come up with different strategies and confront their own indecisiveness when it comes to choosing a colour for the coins and sticking with it.
180 from Headcase Games is one of those games that encourages the player to think quick and act quicker. There is a free version available offering just the score attack in easy mode, which enables the player to get a feel for the game before forking out the rather high asking price of Â£1.19 for the full game. There are so many match three games available on the iPhone, but 180 offers a new twist and should be at least sampled by anyone with a passing interest in the genre.
180 from Headcase Games is available here on the App Store for just Â£1.19