When you combine cutesy anime characters, high-pitched Japanese voice-overs, Street Fighter attack action, and puzzles involving grilling octopi, you get Octo Touch by Compile Heart. Octo Touch comes with two game modes, Octo Puzzle and Endless, and three levels of difficulty, Octo Rookie, Fighter, and Master. There are six characters to choose from, each with their own specialty attack, and five characters to unlock.
In Octo Puzzle, once you choose a character, you are thrown into a fast-paced game of grilling octopi. Arrange octopi falling from the top of the screen of the same color on top of grills, which sport a number. Once you get that number of same-colored octopi, they will become bubbles and disappear–but if you hurry and line up more octopi of that color next to the bubbles (it doesn’t matter if they’re on the grill or not), they’ll be part of a Chain and disappear as well. To arrange the octopi, just tap the arrows on the right side of the screen to move the cursor (the turning arrow in the middle turns the octopi around; tap anywhere on your side of the playing field to turn the octopi in the other direction).
Making Chains will cause Sea Urchins to drop onto your enemy’s field; if they drop onto yours, you can only remove them by placing them in a Chain reaction. Every ten chains, a character will appear on the screen to attack the enemy and cancel their Chain. The more Chains you make, the more your gauge (found on the left side of the screen) will fill up; your character’s special ability will automatically be utilized once your gauge is full. The game is over once someone’s playing field is full of octopi. Endless mode is pretty much what it’s named: octopi just keep dropping on your playing field until there’s no more room.
The background music and sound effects are exactly like what you’d find in an arcade game, and the graphics are very colorful and almost too cute for words. Unfortunately, the controls take a little getting used to, as they are not that intuitive (and the tutorial is sometimes confusing). Also an issue is the lack of a pause button and game saving: you have to start over every time you load the game app. That being said, Octo Touch is very well designed and completely addicting–just set aside a long moment to play if you want to unlock characters and use special abilities.
Here is a video demo of the Octo Touch app on the iPhone
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