The pace of play keeps you on your toes. It puts a unique spin on the typical match-3 formula, forcing you to not only work fast but also to pay attention to how close your blocks are to being destroyed.
The graphics are colorful, the gameplay is challenging and overall, Tap the Blocks is a fantastic addition to the Windows 10 collection of match-3 style games.
The primary menu for Tap the Blocks is straightforward, with options to jump into gameplay, access to settings and the game's store. The store offers the option to purchase gold blocks (used to buy power-ups) and to remove the ad-support ($1.99).
When you first jump into gameplay, Tap the Blocks offers you the opportunity to play through a tutorial, and it does a good job of covering the basics and finer points of gameplay. The layout of the game display has the evil shaman positioned to the left side of the screen, your gaming stats (lives, score, gold block count) running across the top, and the columns of blocks entering the screen on a raised platform from the left. A small bug runs across a vine the bottom of the screen to serve as a game timer, and any power-ups available line the right side of the screen.
The shaman introduces columns of colored blocks into play, and your job is to tap on matches of two or more blocks of the same color. The matches can be vertical and horizontal, and when tapped, the blocks are removed from play, and you earn points. The more blocks involved in the match, the more points earned.
Every few seconds, the shaman adds a new column, edging the group of blocks a little closer to the edge of the platform. To add to the game's difficulty, blocks also fall from the sky to fill in space between your columns and the edge. If a block reaches the end of the platform and falls off into the abyss, you lose a life. Lose all your lives and the game is over. Gameplay does not have levels, but rather offers an endless number of rounds to play until you lose all your lives. The further you progress in rounds, the faster the pace and more challenging the game becomes.
The shaman introduces a dozen or more columns in each game, and if you need to add a column of blocks faster, just tap on the shaman to add one manually. If you need help, several power-ups are available to add lives to your count, slow down gameplay, remove columns of blocks and more. The power-ups cost you golden blocks that are earned when you create matches of six or more blocks. You can also pick-up golden blocks through in-app purchase ($1.99 to $4.99).
In addition to the main game rounds, Tap the Blocks offers a bonus round periodically. The bonus round has blocks falling from the top of the screen and you only have a few seconds to create as many matches as possible.
Tap the Blocks' gaming experience was refreshing. The design and graphics of this Windows 10 game are appealing, and gameplay was challenging. While the matching game concept isn't anything new, the urgency created by the shaman's constant column pushing helps Tap the Blocks to stand out a bit from other matching games. The combination of the two tasks provides a challenging difficulty level.
Tap the Blocks is not a very hard game to learn your way around, but mastering it can give you fits (and not in a bad way). It is easy to concentrate too much on the incoming blocks to forget about a match sitting near the end of the platform. More times than not, this results in losing a few lives and possibly the game.
Overall, I found Tap the Blocks to be an entertaining addition to the match-3 genre. It is an excellent time waster of a game and offers an enjoyable test of your skills at concentration, speed, and multi-tasking.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.