180 Review: No matter how you flip the pieces, match-3 is match-3

Setting out to make a match-3 game these days seems a double edge sword. On one hand it’s an established format that offers unlimited game play and people like them. On the other hand though those games are a dime a dozen and we’ve been playing them forever. If you want to stand amongst the rabble you need to find a unique angle to get people hooked.

The rules of 180 are as simple as they are established. Add different colored pieces to the board to match up 3 or more like colored pieces, clearing them and make way for new pieces. Try to stay ahead of the sinking pieces and the game ends when pieces reach the bottom of the screen. It’s all pretty standard. Each game starts with only a few different colors but adds more as time goes on.

The hook with 180 is that if the color of the pieces doesn’t match up you can flip them over like a coin to reveal a different color. So a coin may be blue on one side but if you flip it you might find red on the other side. This allows you to create a match where there wasn’t one before, which certainly helps make the game easier.


Of course, this mechanic doesn’t mean things are simple. You can flip over some coins to form a bundle of one color together, but that won’t clear them. You still need to drop a matching piece onto that group in order to clear them. This forces you to do a little planning in order to get colors together that match the incoming pieces.

The game’s graphics serve the purpose, but they are on the simplistic side. The characters you choose to play as are especially poor, but it doesn’t really matter since they have no effect on the game. Really, they just dance along next to your score while you play.

There are a few different games modes and they’re all pretty standard fare for those experienced with match 3 or other puzzle games. There’s an endless mode where you play till you’re defeated or timed modes where you rush to score as much as possible in a set amount of time. Good for variety but nothing out of the ordinary.

So the game definitely does something different with the coin flipping mechanic, but unlike the color morphing of Love Love or the weighted ball factor of Steamballs this one doesn’t offer enough to set it apart from other match-3 games. If you’re looking for a match-3 game that offers you a fresh feeling, keep on moving. If you just want a new match-3 game however, 180 would serve you well in your collection.