Review: Droplitz (PS3, Xbox 360)July 13th, 2009 | Written by Chris Selogy | Topic: PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360
Atlus is known as one of the biggest publishers of RPGs, so it was definitely a surprise to see that they were publishing a puzzle game for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network called Droplitz. Being developed by Blitz Arcade, the developers behind PowerUp Forever, this puzzle game combines two types of puzzle games into one addictive mixture.
Mixing the task of connecting lines with block-dropping gameplay, Droplitz manages to not have the initial impression of being unique until you get what’s going on for yourself. The basic gist of Droplitz’s gameplay is that you have the sources of the water drops at the top of the board that you must connect to the collection points at the bottom by rotating the various pieces until you have a complete connection. Then a purple drop makes its way to the collection point to confirm the connection, which gives you enough time to make more connections before those tiles disappearing so more can drop in to keep the action going. As long as you keeping making connections, you will keep filling up your Droplitz meter on the left as it starts to drain faster and faster the longer you stay alive.
Droplitz offers your basic mode that presents the core gameplay in its purest form. The method for unlocking harder themes in this mode is based around beating the required score of the levels near it in the north, south, east, and west directions, which is an interesting way to handle unlocking new themes to play. These new themes add increase the size of the board along with how many drop sources and collection points, which adds to the chain possibilities and complexity as a nice means of increasing the challenge since early levels are easy once you get a hang of the gameplay. The other three modes are unlocked in a similar way, as you must get a certain score in Classic mode to unlock Zendurance Challenge mode and then get a certain score in Zendurance Challenge to unlock Power Up mode and then repeat to unlock Infection mode, as well.
Zendurance Challenge is Droplitz’s basic endurance mode that’s tailored to be played much longer than Classic will allow. Power Up adds some power-ups that change up the gameplay a bit with abilities like freezing the board, slowing it down, blowing up chunks of it, or destroying the whole board that is a decent twist on the formula, but the ability to get by in that mode without relying on the power-ups kind of defeats the purpose a bit. Infection is the best of these two twist modes, as a piece will get infected and become very unresponsive if you need to rotate it until you make connections to get rid of those infected pieces. Infection is definitely more of the mode that you will play to challenge yourself once you’ve dominated the others.
Droplitz, like most puzzle games, doesn’t really offer a great visual style that will really set it apart from the crowded puzzle genre. There are some nice touches that seem to be inspired by Lumines, as the visual style changes at certain points, though it’s not the same kinds of drastic change that Lumines does. It’s mostly changed to the colors of the pieces, the icon on the pieces that lie on the outer edges of the board, and the background changes a bit. The music is pretty good and the nice touch that the developers added is that when you get a good chain of connections going, you here a good beat that’s added on top of the music that represents the great rhythm you’ve got going very well.
Droplitz definitely doesn’t have the first impression that it’s a puzzle game you should check unlike some of the others that are out there, but it can be a very addictive game once you do get your hands on the game and get used to how it works. For $10 on PSN and XBLA, there’s a good amount of content here and replayability that makes it a worthy purchase for fans of the puzzle genre.