Physics-based puzzle games are always fun, and despite Spring Up Harmony’s uncanny resemblance to a Peggle, my time playing around with it was pleasurable for the most part.
You, the player, control a cannon which releases orbs of various different colours, and you must aim to hit as many other orbs of the same colour as possible until all objects are removed from a level. Instead of completely disappearing off the screen however, hit items magically move to the bottom of the screen, where you must collect them with a bucket in order to claim your precious in-game points. As you can imagine, time limits are added in order to spice things up a little and success or failure is usually determined by a last gasp shot before time runs out. It’s nail-bitting, yet oh-so addictive stuff.
Knocking loose seven ‘harmony objects’ will see you finish each level, with bonus points coming your way based on your completion time, the number of balls used, the number of shapes caught, and the number of harmony objects caught with your almighty bucket.
What makes Spring Up Harmony consistently addictive and fun is its realistic and pretty darn accurate physics system. For example, large objects tend to float at a leisurely pace about the screen where as smaller items have a habit of ricocheting off walls and generally being a speeding nuisance.
Various power-ups can also be caught too, these nifty little aids can offer anything from a lump sum of points to extra seconds of gameplay or even an increase in the size of your bucket. The moment it gets tricky though is when downgrades start appearing, bucketing downgrades will result in some pretty drastic gameplay changes, mouse disorientation and the lessening of the bucket’s size.
The game’s graphics are nice and neat, with no pixilation in sight. The game’s audio is of an equal, professional quality, with no bad editing to be heard and a repetitive, yet quite entertaining background tune.
Frozax have really hit the nail on the head with the controls system in Spring Up Harmony, they’ve managed to keep the speed of the action at a devilishly fast pace without getting the user to just button-bash like a madman. Use of the D-pad will give you that little bit more control, which in later levels is a god send, trust me.
If you’ve been playing Xbox Live Indie games such as this one for a while like I have, you’ll have come accustomed to jumpy bugs and unprofessional graphics and/or story muck ups. But Spring Up Harmony really does step aside from that stereotype due to its solid and consistent quality, which is shown in every aspect of the game.
Overall, Spring Up Harmony is a brilliant effort at a fast-paced puzzle game from Frozax that combines elements of both Peggle and Breakout. It’s a recipe for one hell of an addictive and down right fun game, and a damn steal at only 80 Microsoft Points.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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