I’ve been meaning to say something about Shibuya for awhile, and since it’s free on the App Store this weekend, I figured this would be the perfect time.
The challenge, though, is that Shibuya is really something that should be played, not just talked about or even seen. So I guess it’s a good thing it’s free this weekend, huh?
The game is a surprisingly refreshing take on the puzzle genre, which I’m sure is what led to it being named part of this year’s PAX 10 at the Penny Arcade Expo. Yes, there are falling blocks, which is likely something you’ve seen in puzzle games past, but the point this time around is to color the falling blocks in just the right order to create a stack of two or more, after which you can remove them from the playing field.
Again, kind of hard to describe.
The trick, as you might expect, is to create chains, combos and/or massive uni-colored stacks in order to rack up as many points as possible.
There are two modes, Quickplay and Endless. Quickplay is simply a two-minute game in which you try to get as many point as you can before time runs out. You just select the speed you want to start on and you’re off. Perfect for an iPhone game, as you might only have two minutes before classes, before your bus route ends, or before the traffic light turns green. You know, whenever. Endless is what you would expect. Again, you pick a speed to start off on, and the game get progressively faster/harder as you play. No time limit. It’s just you against the multicolored lights.
There’s also a progressive achievement system that’s integrated pretty well into the experience, which helps challenge you to improve at a pretty steady pace. OpenFeint is also supported for leaderboards. There’s no GameCenter support (at least not yet), but as I’m still rocking a dated iPhone 3G, that wouldn’t matter to me anyway right now.
Oh, and the music is pretty good, too.
Shibuya is a fast, fresh and very addictive puzzler, and it’s pretty easy to recommend to iPhone owners. I would say you could check out a video over at the developer’s website, but seriously, the game is free right now. You should probably just download it.