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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "SubMerged" by Namco

SubMerged is basically a Tetris derivative. At least the inventors tried to do something different. However, it may have bit off a bit too much, as the adaptation uses no less than 10 buttons to play. Still, it does have that one-more-level feel... Until you get the idea that it's the interface that's tripping you up, not your lack of skill, thereof.

Basically, SubMerged uses the underwater theme... and bubbles forming lines. There are nine positions where each block can go across the "board". At the end of the "level" you reached a resting point where you get fresh air. If you don't make it, you "drown". The random stuff "drop" (actually you rise, but same idea) and you have to release your own blocks to fill the gaps to make it one solid line across of 9. The gaps can be of any size. The "fun" part is the pieces that are not used in the line then 'floats up' to form additional lines if possible. This is called a "rush". It is possible to chain up to a DOZEN rushes by completing a single line. However, this would require not only exact placement of your piece, but also customization of the piece's shape.

You see, you can actually manipulate the shape and size of your piece. if it's a single wide, you can make it taller (but not rotate it). If you have a wide piece (never wide than 3 blocks), you can grow any one of the 3 blocks, or grow 2 at a time (3 combinations), or all three at the same time. Add "push up", and move left/right, and you got 10 control buttons.

This sounds complicated, and it is. You pretty much have to have your target aimed and pieces grown. This becomes nearly impossible at the highest levels (3 difficulty levels, plus "endless") when pieces are floating up so fast you don't even have time to grow it, much less move them into place. You have to know how to grow them and have the button pushed, pretty much.

This is this game's main downfall. The background is pretty enough, with sealife like turtle, fish, and other animals moving about. The "depth gauge" shows how close you are to to finish line, and this really is a genuine variation on Tetris that's rather original. However, it seems that the attempt to control the controls have not worked that well, and needing to look for that many controls makes them counter-intuitive and thus less than exciting to play. And that's its main failing.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: genuinely original version of Tetris derivative
Cons: unwieldy controls

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