Another week, another match-3 game. This time, it’s flowers. Not diamonds, bubbles, or candies: just flowers. You string the plants together by color, make the buds bloom, and presto: points. Welcome to Blossom Blast Saga.
Fans of the genre can download King’s Blossom Blast knowing full well the sort of experience they’re about to get themselves into, largely because the game employs the exact same mechanics that countless other match-3 games have utilized in the past. While I don’t expect every match-3 game to redefine the genre, a little effort to try something new would be nice. In Blossom Blast Saga, it’s clear that King didn’t want to deviate from what already works. The result is a game that feels all too familiar and does very little to give players an experience they have not already had with a dozen games already.
The twist in Blossom Blast Saga is that matching the colored flowers doesn’t remove them entirely. The board is filled with buds of varying maturity — from baby buds to large buds just about to bloom. As you match the buds together, they gradually grow larger and larger. If you only match up a few of the small buds, they will grow together into a medium-sized bud. Match a few of the larger buds together and they will bloom and burst open into a shower of flower petals, and most importantly: points.
When a blossom blasts open, it will trigger the flowers next to it to all grow one size larger. If a full bud is next to the flower that bloomed, it too will bloom, triggering all the flowers around it to upscale as well. The result is that sometimes you’ll bloom one flower and that one bloom will trigger blooms all around it that may clear out half the board. It’s a snowball effects that is marginally appealing to behold.
The problem with the blooming is that it makes predicting future moves really tricky. Since you have to factor in how the next bloom will trigger the ones around it, and if any of the secondary buds will bloom, you have to factor in which buds they will also affect and so on and so on. Where in most match-3 games you can strategically plan ahead a turn or two, in Blossom Blast Saga that is virtually impossible to do thanks to the very nature of the game.
Bloom Blast Saga’s saving grace in my eyes is that it wasn’t stuffed with painfully easy levels. The first two or three levels casually walk you through the basics, and then after that the difficulty cranks up by a few notches. One of my least favorite things about this genre is how the first 20 levels always seem to be super easy, as if to artificially inflate the player’s belief in their ability. (I’m probably onto something there, but I’m no psychologist). I was happy to see that in Blossom Blast Saga I was almost immediately greeted by levels that were challenging, and with that challenge came the little bit of fun I was able to squeeze out of the game.
If you’re not entirely burned out on match-3 games, you’ll be happy to learn that Blossom Blast Saga isn’t going to waste your time for the first two-dozen levels. On the other hand, it’s also not going to do anything that exciting or revolutionary in those two-dozen levels. My recommendation goes out to people who are specifically looking for a match-3 game with flowers in it, because that’s exactly what Blossom Blast Saga is — and little else.