Developer: RealNetworks, Inc.
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
PileUp! Candymania (from RealNetworks), a cross between a normal "match three" type of game like Bejeweled and classic Tetris, is certainly the sweetest thing I've seen for the iPhone. There are 60 levels of increasing difficulty in which players manipulate bright, shiny pieces of candy to pile matching pieces together and clear the level.
As I mentioned, PileUp! Candymania incorporates aspects of a few different games. Like most "match-three" games, the goal is to line up several (in this case, four, not three) matching items in order to make them disappear. There are eight different types of candy in the game, so matching up four of a kind isn't always as easy as you'd think.
However, unlike a normal matching game, in which you often swap items around to make matches, PileUp! Candymania also incorporates the falling pieces element used in games like Tetris. Candies drop from the top of the screen in sets of three, and players must flip them about and place them down in the best possible spot, because if you blow it, the candy hits the top of the board and it's all over!
However, unlike Tetris, which drops solid pieces, the sets of three candies that PileUp! Candymania drops aren't stuck together once they hit the existing candy pile, so the candies separate and roll and slide off each other. It may take a few minutes to get used to this, but once you've gotten a measure of how it works, this can actually be quite useful. Also unlike Tetris, which starts players with an empty board, PileUp! Candymania begins each level with a formation of candy already on the board, waiting to be cleared.
As you advance through PileUp! Candymania, there are new challenges to face. In some levels, a coin is dropped on top of the candy pile and you must clear out the candies beneath it so the coin drops to the bottom. Some candies are locked in place, so that you must occasionally use a bit of strategy to be able to clear them. The further you get in the game, the more special power-ups you can unlock, such as "wildcard" candies that will match up with any set of three they touch, or bombs that explode a path through a dozen candies.
PileUp! Candymania is very aesthetically pleasing and quite addictive. The beginning levels are extremely easy, but later levels provide enough of a challenge to keep things interesting. Overall, it's definitely a tasty treat for the iPhone.