This well-designed app is casual gaming at its best

Price: $4/£4
Version: 1.0
Size: 115 MB
Developer: webbfarbror AB
Platform: iPhone/iPad

Get Holedown

The only thing better than a casual game is a well-designed casual game. Holedown, a fairly recent release on the App Store, is just that: the game is a fun, ball-bouncing, block-breaking blast which iPhone and iPad gamers will find hard to put down.

In Holedown, gamers are tasked with mining through on-screen blocks by launching projectiles from the top of the screen. These projectiles, which take the shape of small, white moles, can break down blocks by deflecting off them (and off the side and bottom of the screen) before reaching the top again. When your projectile reaches the top, you’ll need to fire off a new one.

You’ll need to think ahead and aim carefully in order to maximize the number of strikes your projectile makes!

Here’s the catch: each block has a number written on it, and this number tells you how many “hits” the block will need to take before it’ll break down. As you fire your moles, the array of blocks will also move closer to the top of the screen, and — you guessed it — if a block reaches the top, you lose. Kinda like inverse Tetris.

You also have a limited number of shots, so play carefully.

All of this makes for a fun gaming experience: it’s satisfying watching those mini-moles bounce from wall to wall, and seeing blocks break down after taking a good slamming. The levels are designed in a fiendishly smart way and you’ll need to think carefully about where to fire your projectiles in order to progress through the game. But Holedown also adds to this dynamic in a number of ways.

In a Tetris-style move, Holedown’s bricks gradually edge towards the top of the screen.

First, you’ll notice that certain blocks have a miniature “x” on them: these will be difficult to clear, but provide you with a diamond once they’ve been blasted away. Diamonds serve as in-game currency and can be used to upgrade your gear in Holedown. There are six planets to mine through and boss fights, too, although bosses are fairly similar and a little variation would be a nice addition to the game.

Game Center support and iCloud Saves sweeten the experience.

On top of all that, Holedown offers a catchy original soundtrack, an endless play mode, Split View support, and iCloud saves across devices. It’s the kind of app you can dive into for a few minutes and return to later.

For the perfect addition to your summer gaming playlist, consider taking Holedown for a spin and get mining!

Review: Holedown — a ball-bouncing, block-breaking blast
  • A polished game
  • Fair payment system
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Lack of variation between boss characters
4.5Overall Score