Dizzy Drops (Dynamo Games) is a challenging, but approachable reaction/endurance game in which you must try to quickly arrange and rearrange color-coded buckets at the bottom of the screen to catch similarly colored (water?) drops which are rapidly falling from the top of the screen. Buckets are moved with a simple tap and slide of the finger. There are also several other miscellaneous bonus items which you can tap on to get additional lives, bonus points, slow down time, and there is even a bomb (to trip you up) which will actually cause you to lose a life.
The game actually offers two very distinct game modes. The first (as described above) is Classic Mode, in which you start with 3 lives and must frantically try to sort the drops. When you incorrectly sort a drop, there is a short period of “forgiveness” time while your life meter is blinking, where you can accidentally sort other drops w/o penalty. This appears to have been done to gracefully handle the case when you are trying to sort three drops at the exact same time, otherwise there would be a chance you could go completely go out with just a single mistake. As you progress, the drops will start coming faster and more frequently and at times clouds will appear over the upper portion of the screen, blocking your view of the drops until they are already halfway down the screen. Fans of quick reaction puzzle games like Tetris should really enjoy this mode of the game.
The second mode is called Memory Mode, and plays just like the classic board game mastermind. Four purple “?” drops will repeatedly fall from the top of the screen (instead of the regular red, blue, green and yellow drops). You are trying to guess the secret order of colored drops made up of one each of the four colored drops, by sorting your buckets into correct order. Each time you catch the four purple drops, you are given the number of correct positions, but not which buckets are correct and you must keep rearranging the buckets until you get all four correct. Then the secret pattern will change and you repeat the process all over again. This keeps going until time runs out, but you are rewarded with additional time each time you guess a pattern correctly.
The colorful animated drops make cute smiling faces as they drop and are sure to be a hit with younger players. When drops hit their appropriate buckets, you can see a splash, but the lack of any sound effects left us feeling like something was missing. The game does have a nice (albeit somewhat repetitive) musical score that is cheerful and upbeat, giving the game nice tempo.
Dizzy Drops gives players two completely different games in one. While we enjoyed both modes, we definitely preferred the challenge of the Classic Mode’s frenetic sorting. It does take a while for the difficulty to really ramp up, so ideally we’d love to see Dynamo add an option (or difficulty setting) where things get tougher sooner. Our biggest single gripe about Dizzy Drops is the way it handles the high scores. It has a local high score list which is accessible via a button on the main menu, but we found no way to directly access the global leaderboards. We were presented with our global rank right after submitting our score, but then could never see it again. A game like this thrives on the ability to compete with others for that top score and without this functionality, the lasting appeal of the game really drops. Ideally the game should be updated to take advantage of one of the existing social networks like OpenFeint, AGON, Plus+ or even Chillingo’s Crystal.
Dizzy Drops is an entertaining and (at times) challenging game, offering an enjoyable pick up and play experience. Unfortunately the lack of sound effects made the game feel unfinished and without a proper global leaderboard it has limited longevity. Hopefully these minor shortcomings will be addressed in a future update. We recommend at least taking the Lite version out for a spin.