Developer: Bob Donovan
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Sparkz is a puzzle game with a long history. The app is a reproduction of the vintage Mac game Qix, which was in turn based on an earlier arcade game. And while I never played Qix, I hear that Sparkz does an excellent job of porting the popular arcade puzzle to the iPhone platform.
The goal in Sparkz is to fence off the screen by traveling a perimeter of your own design to create closed shapes: square, rectangle, etc. Basically guiding your diamond-shaped controller — the Stix — around the screen to trap the Sqix in an ever-smaller area. At the start of each level, the playing field is a large, empty rectangle, with only your controller and the rotating arches of the Sqix in site. The Sqix is a stick-like form that rotates gracefully, if unpredictably, across the screen
Get going and wall off as much of the screen as you can. The controls are simple and responsive. Use a finger or the accelerometer to guide the diamond marker vertically or horizontally to draw a line. If you complete your shape without being touched by the rotating arches of the Sqix, the territory becomes yours. To complete a level, trap the Sqix by claiming a super-majority of the arena.
Each level you will have to gain more and more territory, while the Sqix begins to move faster and new obstacles are introduced — Sparkz, SuperSparkz and Mines. Sparkz also has 5 hidden gems to discover that add new twists to the game.
There are 50 stages of gameplay, each featuring a different nature photo which is unveiled as you capture territory. Overall, the graphics are straightforward without a lot of pizazz, probably because Sparkz is a reproduction and that's just how games were in the "olden days."
Sparkz is a puzzle game, where timing and strategy are required. It's easy to play and just challenging enough to hold my interest for short bursts of play. If you need more of a challenge, you can also log on to the AGON-supplied leaderboard to compare scores online or against your Facebook friend list, or post your best scores to twitter.
Not sure if Sparkz is for you? Watch the Sparkz demo video from Codengineer to find out: