Cookie Jam Blast is the latest in a very long line of match-stuff puzzlers that see you combining sweet treats to clear boards. And if that’s all that it’s setting out to do, and all you want from your next gaming experience, then everything here slips nicely into place.
It’s super polished, putting even King’s work to shame with its slick graphics, cute characters, and sparkling animation. And it even adds a few new ideas to the genre, something other games in recent times haven’t bothered themselves with.
But at the end of the day, and with the greatest respect to the developer, this really is just more of the same. Sure, it’s shiny and brilliantly well put together, but there’s nothing here that’s going to break anyone out of their match-stuff malaise.
The game sees you swapping colored blobs around. Match three or more and they’ll clear from the grid. You’re never just trying to get rid of all the colored treats though, instead you’ve got a secondary aim that you need to reach using these moves.
There are waffles underneath sweets that you’ll need to get rid of. Then there are levels where you need to collect energy to power a cute little creature as it tries to make it along a path to get to an ice cream van. Other times you’re trying to free other characters from their position on the grid.
Each level gives you a limited number of moves. If you run out of moves before you’ve completed the challenge you’ve been given you have to start again. Or you can pay some coins to get a few extra moves.
There’s also a kitchen. Here you can cook up tasty treats that give you a variety of bonuses. There are meta games involving star collection too – grab enough stars as you play and you’ll get some goodies that’ll help you along when you’re stuck.
The whole thing rolls along pretty nicely really. The controls, while super simple, are decidedly slick, and the game makes sure you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s just that you’ve probably matched so many things in your mobile gaming career by now that you’re going to tire of this quickly.
Where other games have RPG or adventure elements, the new ideas that Cookie Jam Blast adds don’t change the basic play of the game. After a while, even with the different type of challenges that the game is throwing at you, you’ll realize you’re just repeating the same moves over and over again.
There are some difficulty spikes as well, as you’d expect from a game like this. Despite the items you’re given to help you out, things get tough after an hour or so. Tough to the point where you sort of stop having fun.
It’s likely that Cookie Jam Blast is going to do pretty well. It’s designed to appeal to a certain type of casual mobile player, and they’re going to lap up the shiny sweetness that it exudes from every pore. But even they’re likely to eventually tire of its inherent samey-ness.
Five years ago that game would have been a revelation, but it’s not five years ago. Instead it feels like an also ran, albeit a very well put together one. It wears its influences too obviously on its sugary sleeves, and that leads to an experience that feels old before it’s even got going.