January 14, 2011 11:29 AM | Michael Rose
I first played Clickr back when it was an IGF 2010 entrant, and loved the idea of mixing puzzle and battling elements to your standard matching blocks affair. Developed by a South Korean team, the game is refreshingly fast-paced, with big combos and clever use of the rotation system a key factor.
The main concept in a nutshell goes as follows: any coloured block can be removed from the grid at any time. Get a 2x2 square together, and clicking it will remove the square plus every other same coloured block connected to it, plus you'll get big points. However, the only way to get serious points is to clicking multiple 2x2 squares in quick succession, building up your combo. Hence, planning ahead and setting yourself up for the big combos is the key. The board can also be rotated either way, so you can look for ways to make all the best pieces fall into place.
There are a serious number of modes to try out (although the trial below the cut features just a simple example of how the game works - check out the trailer above) for an idea of what the trial is missing). Puzzle mode asks you to get a specific combo or score in a time limit, and becomes very difficult very quickly. Push mode sees you playing off against the AI, pushing blocks in the middle of the screen whenever you get combos running. IQ mode is particularly brilliant stuff - it's all about planning ahead to make sure every block is cleared, rather than rushing it.
Battle mode is the most fun, however. Both players have a towers at the top of the screen, and as you secure combos in your grid, you'll earn soldiers. Clicking the stored soldiers will deploy them on the battlefield, and they will storm the other player's tower and hopefully reduce it to rubble. If you store multiple soldiers together, you can combine them to make huge, more powerful soldiers. For those people who can't multitask very well, you can also set it to auto-deploy, so the game will choose when to throw the soldiers out for you.
Clickr also comes with oodles of charm injected into its nervous system. The colours are bright and the character are cute as hell, squeaking and cheering constantly the whole time you play. Even when you try to quit the game, then change your mind and click Back, the game pops up an extra window thanking you for continuing your play. When was the last time you played a game that said thank you? It makes me realise how rude games are! Clearly the gaming mother never taught her children about manners.
There are two issues I found with Clickr in general. First, the unlocking system - you need to earn 'Cubes' by completing levels, then use these to buy all the extra modes. It took me a fair amount of time to unlock some of the modes, as the game doesn't exactly throw Cubes at you! The other issue is that, while I'm sure the game is great online, I couldn't find a single game - there's just no-one playing it. Not a fault of the game, of course, but it's still quite a problem! If you can find a friend to buy it too, however, then you'll be all good.
Clickr is charmingly addictive, and gets better the longer you play it, as you brain works it all out better and gets nippy at finding those combos. Of course, it's going to be a little too casual for many players, but it's at least worth checking out the above trial and seeing what you think. The full game is available to buy on Steam for $9.99 / £7.99.