Wezzle is described by its makers, Couchware Inc. as, “an indie puzzle game featuring strategic items, pumpin’ music and eye-poppingly colourful graphics.” In all honesty I loaded it expecting another rehash of the familiar match-3 type games, but was actually very pleasantly surprised by the implementation. Imagine a mix of Tetris (in reverse), Popcap’s Bejeweled and MindJolt’s Facebook hit, CubeCrash. Throw in some special items, achievements, and catchy music and you’ve got a recipe for Wezzle.
It’s a charmingly presented twist to the familiar genre, in which you must make matches of 3 or more in a row by destroying other blocks, which causes the remaining blocks to fall or slide into each other to create your matches. The twist is that the shape of the “remover” changes, and you will destroy between one and three blocks in a different configuration each time. Like the classic Tetris, you can see a preview box in the top right of the screen which lets you know the shape of the upcoming remover. This can also be turned off for an additional challenge. You are also able to rotate the remover but as your level increases, the time you get to make a move rapidly gets shorter. If you run out of time (denoted by the blue bar at the top of the screen) the AI will make a move for you. Each time you make a move, new blocks will fall from the top and once the screen is full, it’s game over. You’re able to choose from three difficulty settings so you can either take it nice and relaxed, or really challenge yourself.
It took me a few tries to get the hang of the strategic element of the game, which I feel is a definite plus in terms of the game’s re-playability. It’s always positive in a game like this when you suck at the start, as you’ll feel you need to keep playing to improve, and you’ll challenge yourself to beat your previous scores. My understanding of the game was aided by the tutorial – a very nice touch and superbly integrated into the game play. More special items are available to you as you level up (rockets, stars, gravity wells and bombs) and as they unlock, you’re shown a short demonstration of their effects. (You can turn the tutorial off again once you’ve got the hang of it; another well thought out feature, as you won’t want game play interrupted by these screens once you’re playing like a pro.)
Another feature that will keep you playing is the achievements. It’s always nice to see indie devs implementing the now fairly standard achievement system as it definitely adds to the replay value. Overall, the graphics and audio are very polished, and Wezzle even lets you pick from three different soundtracks which is a thoughtful little feature and adds to the professional feel of the game. Together with other features such as the tutorial, achievements and a high score board, everything comes together in a very well presented package. I’d say it’s well worth the $4.99 (CAD) price tag for anyone who is into this genre but if you’re still not sure, you can get a free trial download which gives access to unlimited game play for one hour. Wezzle is available direct from CouchWare’s website for both PC and Mac. Get Wezzle here!