Pliq (iOS, Android)

Pliq is a Tetris-style free-to-play puzzle game downloadable on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  Arranged rows of blocks fall from above, and you use the touch screen to create blocks from below.  Tap the blocks again to make them disappear.  Try to make your blocks match up to what’s falling so everything disappears and you get points.

Similar to Tetris, when a whole row of blocks are at the bottom, they’ll disappear and you’ll get points.  So you must watch the falling blocks carefully and make the blocks below match so everything is cleared.  As you get the hang of it, you can employ some neat tricks like pressing the arrow button at the top to make the blocks fall faster for more points.  And you can make your own rows of blocks at the bottom that will get cleared for even more points, but that gets harder to do when the blocks start falling faster.

If you fail to make a row of blocks disappear, that row will be blocked and you must make a row above it to unlock it for use.  You’ll want to be careful not to let this happen often, because once it does, the game can get pretty hard really fast!  Sometimes special blocks appear to make things more complicated, like numbered blocks that take a certain number of rows to disappear completely.  Sometimes power-up blocks appear and can clear out whole columns and such.  There is even a block that when you clear it, you’ll have to view an ad.  While a little annoying, I think that’s a funny way to implement ads in a free-to-play game.  You can opt to purchase a no ads version of the game, too.  Anyway, when the blocks touch the top of the screen, the game is over.

While I don’t think Pliq has as much staying power as other puzzlers like Tetris, and may not hold your interest as long, it’s still a fun little game.  I especially like the graphics style.  The blocks have an organic jelly like liquid feel, mixed with a neon 80’s arcade aesthetic.  Just a fun little puzzle time waster.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Parental supervision is recommended for the in-game ads and purchases.

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