Collapse! Blast Review

I have fond memories of Collapse!, by Gamehouse, back in high school. It was a simple and fun game during the rise of flash games. Playing Collapse! Blast on Google+ brings back many of those memories, but I find it difficult to find the original charm the old game had.

The directions to play Collapse! Blast is as simple as a single picture: click on any combination of 3 adjacently-placed, like-colored blocks to make them disappear. While this gameplay is similar to Diamond Dash, Collapse! Blast differs in a few ways. First, the blocks do not take up the entire screen. Instead, they rise from the bottom, imposing a new peril: letting the blocks rise to the top of the screen is instant game-over (don’t worry, this doesn’t happen often). Second, destroying an entire column of blocks causes the blocks on the outer edges to converge inwards. Third, Collapse! Blast adds a risky but rewarding strategy, where one can deliberately raise more blocks to gain more points. This last part makes the game significantly more entertaining than Diamond Dash, where no similar risks exist.

Interestingly, Collapse! Blast also tweaks its “physics” every week, changing how quickly you get score multipliers, Frenzy Mode, etc. Also, as you play more, you gain more Experience Points to earn power-ups, such as Bombs and Thunderbolts. This helps even the odd, but they come in very slowly. You’re probably bored by the point you get the last Colored-Bomb, even though the next item helps give you massive points. It’s quite unfortunate this terrible progression provides little curiosity or gratification.

Perhaps the worst offender, however, is its Life system. Much like Diamond Dash, Collapse! Blast offers only a palpable 3 lives to play through each game in succession. While the game will initially award you with extra levels to keep you playing, you’ll quickly hit a point where the game simply prevents you from playing further. One regains a life after 5 long minutes, or after asking a friend for help. While it’s true that by gaining more experience points, you’ll eventually increase your life meter up to 5 containers, that only means you can play 5 or 6 games successively before getting annoyed by the “wait 5 minutes” pop-up dialog. By then, you might as well stop playing.

Collapse! Blast is a legitimately fun game that I want to enjoy, but doesn’t let me. The core game mechanics is, by all means, very fun and frantic. There’s a big satisfaction for setting up large groups of blocks for elimination. Yet, this is hindered by one of the worst energy system ever created on a Google+ game. In a rare bit, I find this single flaw so glaringly bad, I cannot get myself to play the game longer.
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