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High Rise – ambitious 3D block matching puzzle

Developer: Florian Grolig
Price: Free
IAP: $1/£1 to remove ads
Size: 98.4 MB
Version: 1.1

High Rise

Ah, match-three puzzlers. So comfortable. So easy to grasp. So two dimensional. Except when they’re High Rise, that is.

Developer Florian Grolig takes something we all know an awful lot about by now – matching together colored blocks on a grid – and builds the concept out. Quite literally.

Taller buildings earn more points

When you match two colored blocks on one of High Rise’s 5 x 5 grids, they will meld together into a single taller building. It turns out that height plays as much of a role in the matching process as the color does. You’re effectively constructing a densely packed high-rise city block here.

Taller skyscrapers will net you more points, but require an equivalent number of like-colored blocks in order to merge and grow further. There are additional quirks, such as the fact that you’ll get a bonus spurt of growth by initiating a center merge – essentially bridging two identically sized buildings.

Mixed towers pose a problem

Jumbled stacks of different-colored blocks really give you something to think about, too, as you figure out the best way to split them into their constituent colors. Thankfully, every 500 points earned will net you the ability to remove a building from play, freeing up space on the grid. And space really is the key currency in High Rise.

Not that you’ll grasp all of this straight away. Not even if you watch the slightly vague tutorial multiple times.

Things get congested awfully quickly

One of the big issues we have with High Rise is that it isn’t very intuitive. You’ll have to spend time playing the game to fully grasp its various mechanics.

That lack of precision extends to other parts of the game, unfortunately. The 3D perspective often obscures the placement of blocks, while we lost count of the number of times a block went in a completely different place to where we had intended through an apparently errant touch.

You might need to go through the tutorial multiple times

Given the confines of the game grid and the exacting nature of the gameplay, this lack of precision is a bit of an issue, and it prevents High Rise from joining the list of must-buy puzzlers. But if you’re willing to stick at it and learn its quirks and unorthodoxies, you’ll find a fresh spin on the well worn block-matching puzzler.