Not as ‘cutesy’ as it first seems.
Price: $9.99 USD ($10.16 AUD)
Clickr is, at first glance, a simple puzzle game riddled with annoying sound effects and issues branching from the localisation of the game to English-speaking nations. However, while these issues are evident consistently throughout the experience, the strong range and execution of gameplay elements makes these problems excusable at worst.
As the player begins, only a match-4/puzzle hybrid mode will be available, which lists an objective and a time in which it must be completed. There are fifty stages available, with new elements being gradually introduced. All the objectives fall under the same few categories, which allows you to to familiarise yourself with the concepts. Repetition does become a problem; only the rising difficulty stops this mode from becoming stale too quickly.
The gameplay takes place on a square board. The space inside is occupied by squares of different colours. In order to score points, players must get four pieces of the same colour together to form one big square before clearing it. Clearing this square will also clear any linked blocks of the same colour. There are also star blocks and stone blocks, both of which serve a unique purpose and add a bit of depth to the title.
Upon completing a challenge, players are rewarded with ‘cubes’ - the currency in Clickr. If a player amasses enough cubes, they can unlock new game modes - Battle, Push and IQ. Battle plots players against AI, in what can only be described as tower defense-like gameplay controlled by the game board. Push has players try to continuously clear the same-coloured blocks in order to push them onto their opponent. Finally, IQ contains set puzzles where players must clear the game board as quickly as possible.
’Skins’ can also be purchased, which completely change the audio and cosmetic make up of the game.
In all game modes, records are saved and some stats can also be seen on the Steam leaderboards. To complete the repertoire offered by Clickr, both the Battle and Push game modes are playable online against other people, with win/loss records being saved. The collection of data is a good way to demonstrate a player’s improvement in the game, and also serves as motivation for you to keep replaying the same level before progressing.
The presentation, sadly, is hit and miss. The graphics do well no matter which skin you’ve chosen, with minimalistic visuals on the game board making play easy, while images elsewhere spark things up a little. The soundtrack is decent enough within each skin, however the sounds, especially the voice-overs, are hideous. Thankfully, they can be turned down, or even off, so it’s not an inescapable issue.
Other issues with the game include the typos which branch from localisation, the loading times, which are strangely long on occasion, and the frustratingly slow rate at which cubes (money) can be earned, despite the high asking price of some of the unlockable content. In this type of game, it’s unusual to need to spend more than a few hours unlocking everything, and this may deter new players.
Another issue one might have with the game is that very few of the records saved are on the Steam leaderboards. While totals like overall score are collected, times for individual IQ levels and Puzzle Mode levels are not, taking away some of the competitive edge that often drives these types of games.
In the scheme of things, however, this is a non-issue, with the versatility of Clickr doing much more to help the game than any of the listed detriments does to hurt it. If you’re a puzzle gamer or even just a casual gamer who likes to play a bit of Bejeweled, give this one a look, as all the elements come together here to create a unique and, more importantly, worthwhile experience.
The Final Verdict
Clickr combines the best of match-4 gaming with some intriguing puzzle-based twists, offering a fun experience to a wide demographic. The adjustable graphics are a bit of fun, and though the hideous sound effects tell of a childish, cutesy game, Clickr is anything but, and is a game everybody should at least try.
We say: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
By Harry Hughes