By: Uma Smith
Match-three puzzle games are seemingly a dime a dozen. In the case of Sparkle 2, however, it actually costs $7.99 in the PlayStation Store, which gets you both the PS4 and Vita versions. Considering how limited these types of games can get in terms of uniqueness, does that mean it’s the end of the road for Sparkle 2? We’ll take a look at the Vita version to find out.
Speed is key in progressing through a puzzle game like Sparkle 2. That’s why, with the use of the Vita’s touch screen, you’ll be able to shoot orbs with a simple touch. This is especially useful when you’re trying to be as fast and accurate as possible. Of course, you can also make use of the classic control scheme depending on your preference.
In terms of the graphics, Sparkle 2 appears to be pretty decent with the smooth animations. However, there really isn’t much “sparkle” in this department. it’s not the best nor the worst looking game out there; it’s just sort of… there. Audio-wise, there is a limited number of songs that keep on playing repeatedly, which can be a bit irritating. Otherwise, the sound effects do their job effectively, even for a straightforward game like this.
One thing that makes Sparkle 2 stand out is the inclusion of a plot. There are five keys spread across a map that you must acquire by successfully completing the levels. When you jump into the gameplay, you’ll be shooting at incoming orbs before they reach a hole, which spells game over to you. By shooting an orb at an area with at least two same-colored orb, they will all disappear. There are power ups that appear like those that slow things down as well as ones that explode upon contact and destroy a chunk of the orbs.
The story itself is not very intriguing. Nonetheless, the gameplay can be addictive regardless of setting and environment. You start the levels with very few colors of orbs to deal with. But later on, the variety of colors increases, which translates to further challenges for you. As a result, the task of stopping the orbs from reaching the hole can be difficult. At that point, it’ll require some perseverance and improvement in speed on your part to reign victorious.
Of course, the better you do, the more you’ll be rewarded in terms of different enchantments for your orb launcher. In such an occurrence, these provide kickbacks and improvements. As such, you can customize your launcher with up to four enchantments. With at least 90 levels to complete, Sparkle 2 does seem like it has plenty of content to offer, though some of the levels seem repetitive. With only additional colored orbs being introduced along with some repeated levels, the game is in danger of lacking adequate stimulation.
Other than the main campaign, you have access to both the challenge and survival modes. While they do add some replay incentives, they don’t differ that much from each other. It’s just a different way of playing the game essentially. Hence, maintaining interest levels on this game is highly dependent upon the amount of joy you get out of the match-three genre.
Sparkle 2 doesn’t exactly “sparkle” from the rest of the games of this genre. Nevertheless, the $7.99 price tag is fair considering you get a cross-buy deal of the PS4 and Vita versions for the price of one. At the very least, it’s a game that is enjoyable for casual plays.