So here we are. Another week, another match-3 puzzle game. This time it’s Cookie Jam Blast, which is themed after baked goods and sort of a pseudo Candy Land. Well okay then.
Similar Strategies Abound
We’re pretty much just retreading old ground here but for the sake of thoroughness let’s run through the basics.
Group size matters. Matching four or more of the same tile will always create a power-up of some sort, which always comes in handy. Try to stick to matching more than three every chance you get.
How you complete groups also matters. Depending on the configuration of the matched tiles (a straight line, a 2×2 square, a “L,” a “T,” etc), you’ll create different types of power-ups. Try to remember what creates what and use that to your advantage whenever possible.
Line-clearing power-ups go either horizontally or vertically, and will clear out a row or column depending.
The gumdrop bee thing will seek out tiles that need to be cleared for level completion. They only work one tile at a time (unless you can match up two gumdrop bees together), but every little bit helps.
Macaroons or whatever they are function as bombs, clearing out everything around them in a 3×3 star-like pattern.
X power-ups clear out diagonal lines in an X shape, naturally.
Rainbow cake will clear out all of whatever color it’s matched with.
Combine power-ups for increased effect. If two power-ups are next to each other, even if they’re not the same color, you can swipe them together to create a more powerful, well, power-up.
Know your baked goods. Different types of edibles present different obstacles. Knowing how to handle each one is very important.
Waffles can only be cleared by matching colored pieces that are on them.
Popsicles need to be freed by clearing the frozen tiles above them. It’s similar to waffles but they won’t disappear until the entire popsicle is unfrozen.
Chocolate can only be removed when you match colored bits in adjacent spaces. Chocolate also stays where it is – it won’t shift to follow the flow as the board fills in.
“Toppers” or whatever they’re called (it’s the adorable ice cream scoops) are basically like chocolate except they’re usually spread out across the board instead of being arranged in tight groups.
Donuts are like chocolate except that they move with the rest of the pieces on the board and can be swapped when making matches.
Leftover moves go towards your final score. Every move you have remaining once a board is cleared will produce one power-up (in addition to any that might still be on the board). Once everything is tallied, the power-ups will be activated and hopefully cause your final score to skyrocket.
Ignore “hints” whenever possible. If you take longer than a second or two to act, the game will make two pieces blink in order to “help” you figure out what to do. This is almost always a sub-optimal move. Instead, try to see what other moves might be on the board. Chances are you’ll find something much, much more beneficial.
The Same as it Ever Was
If you’ve played any other recent match-3 mobile games, chances are you’ll know exactly what to expect – down to every last mechanical detail – from Cooke Jam Blast. That’s okay, I guess, unless you’re sick of seeing the same formula being used over and over again.
A Regular Candy Land
I’m usually a staunch defender of the virtues of mobile gaming but my goodness are all these cookie-cutter (no pun intended) match-3 games making that difficult! Seriously, Cookie Jam Blast is the third game in a month that I’ve played/reviewed that follows the exact same match-3 formula. I guess that’s technically not bad because the framework is entertaining enough, but it’s tough not to feel burned out with all these dopplegangers floating around.
Same Old Recipe
Right, so, the complimentary stuff first. Cookie Jam Blast is extremely pretty. Well, parts of it are. The basic candy bits and whatnot are all just sort of standard fare, but I can’t deny those backgrounds. The gumdrop-y Candy Land-like subject matter isn’t really my think but I can definitely appreciate the technical artistry behind this stuff. It’s all very vibrant and a bit more detailed than I would’ve expected.
The underlying game itself isn’t bad, either. It’s just as entertaining as previous match-3 games because, well, it’s the same thing. Of course that won’t matter much to anyone who’s already familiar with most other match-3s. My point is, if you’re still hungry for these types of puzzle games, or if you haven’t played many of them before, this is as good a place as any to dive in.
Of course the flipside to that is how Cookie Jam Blast is just like most other match-3 games. It’s all the same but with baked goods. The same power-up creation based on the number of bits you match and in what orientation; the same types of power-ups; the same single-use items that can be bought for real money; the same extra puzzle-y bits like clearing groups next to specific blocks (i.e. chocolate) to break them.
About the only thing here that doesn’t feel like I’ve seen it a hundred times is the Kitchen. The Kitchen is where you can use miscellaneous baking items to create/bake goodies that functionally do nothing. But if you bake enough of them you can earn bonus items and sometimes even premium currency. In practice it’s just a matter of picking a thing from a menu (if you have enough ingredients) and waiting for a timer to count down. So while it’s arguably sort of a not done-to-death thing it’s also not exactly compelling.
Been There, Done That, Again
I suppose it could be worse. I’ve played other match-3 games recently that I’ve enjoyed less. Okay yeah they’re still the same game, but presentation does matter and Cookie Jam Blast certainly one-ups the last copycat I played in that regard. I guess I’d have to say that if you’re tired of match-3s you should probably steer clear. Otherwise there’s no harm in giving it a look.
– Review by Rob Rich
(Android – For most Android based phones and tablets.
See download page for specific requirements.)
(iOS – For most iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices.
See download page for specific requirements.)