Developer: Kimmo Factor
Size: 558 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
No other iOS game genre is as well established as the match-three puzzler. Right from the early days of the App Store we’ve been matching up colored gewgaws in neat grids.
Any developer seeking to mix things up in this most oversubscribed of genres has it all to do. But that’s precisely what Kimmo Factor is promising with Day Repeat Day.
The basic premise is to splice classic match-three gameplay with an interactive fiction game. And the results are quietly compelling, if not particularly revelatory.
You play the part of a new employee at a fictional monolithic delivery giant. Each day of your new job is comprised of fulfilling orders by combining items into neat stacks of three or more. This is achieved in time-honored ‘swap to form a match’ style.
Before long you’ll be called upon to fulfil special orders by matching specific starred items, or by setting off destructive power-ups in such a way that they reach adjacent mini-grids. It’s familiar but well-executed stuff.
The game smartly sells this well-worn system as your company’s attempt to ‘gameify’ the banal busywork of logistics. It’s the in-between bits that really elevate Day Repeat Day into something truly interesting, though.
As you work your way through orders using your company’s computer system, you’ll receive messages from a growing list of contacts. This includes your character’s line manager, their ex, a deadbeat brother, potential love interests, and more. At other times, you’ll be able to dial up fresh contacts for yourself if you spot the relevant snippet of information in your correspondence.
The writing here is snappy and convincingly human, if largely frivolous. But then there are the weird things that happen as you wrap up each working day. We won’t spoil them here, suffice to say that they hint at something altogether darker and more mysterious than your mundane routine would initially suggest.
Each interaction gives you a choice of responses through which you can partially steer the conversation, and indeed the story. It’s a trick that’s familiar to adventure games of all stripes, and it helps involve you in the gently unfurling plot whilst endearing you to the characters, not to mention bolstering the replay factor.
Ultimately, Day Repeat Day’s clever genre splicing can’t quite hide the fact that at its heart lies a very simple, unadorned match-three puzzler. But it’s a reliable formula that you’ll be happy to repeat given the fresh narrative intrigue that adorns it.