How many times can you fold a piece of paper until it’s no longer physically possible?  Arguably 7.  The Mythbusters achieved more but regardless, the point is it’s finite.  So it seems with the multitude of derivations on the Bejeweled theme.  How many more can the iPhone sustain before the game concept implodes upon itself and winks out of existence?  Apparently at least 1 more because Quadrum:colors from Kirill Bulatsev of iChromo hits the right buttons.
Basic concept of matching colored tiles which are then removed and you score points?  Sure, yes of course.  Slide rows and columns in the cardinal directions and turn the phone to change the direction of gravity?  Certainly.  Quadrum:colors seems to run headon into the concrete wall of Bejeweled me-too’s but at the last minute veers hard to the left and comes out unscathed.  What sets it apart is the new twist of multi-colored tiles which allow you to ‘chain’ unique groups of matching tiles together for big bonus points.  This is a cool feature which adds a new dimension of challenge to the game (as long as you’re playing for a high score that is).  Encountered later are oversize blocks that further the challenge by limiting how you can slide tiles.  So the goal of the game then is to match as many colored tiles as you can (at least 4 per group), horizontally or vertically, chaining whenever possible for the highest point total.  Later you can also match tiles in 2×2 blocks which is helpful.  There are 3 total game modes, each with 4 progressively unlockable difficulty levels.  The first is what’s described above, called Puzzle mode.  The second, called Color Rush, pits you against regularly regenerating tiles in a race to clear the board.  The third, called Zen Colors, is an open-ended, penalty-free mode where the only way to remove tiles is through color chains.
The tile graphics are nicely drawn and very pleasant to the eye.  The sound fx are nothing fancy but well-suited to the game.  The interface is easy to navigate and plenty of help is provided if you need it.  You can also mute the sound from within the game so that’s always a welcome feature.
My first gripe is that quite often while playing I inadvertently brought up the pause menu as it’s just a hot button at the bottom of the screen like 1 mm from the active playfield.
My second gripe is there are no Trism-like powerups to keep the gameplay from getting stale too fast so hopefully the developer will add something like that in a future update.
Quadrum:colors is polished, stable and well worth the asking price.  Don’t expect the world but do expect a refreshing update to a familiar gameplay mechanic that definitely entertains.
Version reviewed – 1.1
Global scoreboard – no
iTunes music supported – yes


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