ngmoco is no stranger to top tier iPhone games. From Mazefinger all the way to Star Defense, they have made some of the best games to date for the platform, that take simple ideas and add a layer of polish reserved for console gaming. Topple 2 continues this tradition, if only with a few blemishes.
Topple 2 is a puzzle game that has you stacking blocks to reach a designated goal line. Blocks are stacked by touching, dragging, or rotating the block to where you want it. If you’ve reached the goal line before your time is up, you can continue to stack for bonus points until the time is up. It’s like Tetris, except you’re building up.
The game’s structure is split up into six worlds, each introducing a new game mode. There’s the regular mode where you’ll need to stack as high as you can, Upside-Down where the game flips the playing field and Rescue, which has you build up to a small egg and then having to remove the blocks carefully to get the egg back to safety at the bottom. Balance has you building two separate towers on a scale as you try and manage to get to the goaline while keeping the scale even and Power Tower, where you have to build a tower of power blocks to the goal, but normal blocks are thrown in and impede your progress.
These modes are all spaced enough to provide enough variety to keep the game fresh as you progress, though some of the modes are extremely difficult in later stages and become frustrating. This is due to the unforgiving time limit and the random block generator, which will give you blocks that will cause your tower to fall or are totally useless.
Once you’re done with the single player game, you can participate in social challenges or plays Versus. For the challenges, you can pick a Twitter challenge or send out a challenge through Facebook or Email. While the Facebook and Email challenges have you send out your high score for your friends to match, the Twitter challenge will load the most recent challenge tweets, where you can pick one to beat. This will take you to the challenge, where you will see the players ghost stacking blocks. If you beat their height, you can send your boast out to them or for others to try and beat. The challenge mode is one of the best areas of the game, bringing a social network in and allowing you to always try to one up other players.
The Versus mode on the other hand is a throwaway that is disappointing. You can play another iPhone user over WiFi, where it throws you both into a best of three match. Whoever get’s to the height requirement first, wins the round. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the short height requirements and no support for the other game modes. It feels completely forgettable and eclipsed by the social challenges, and you’re only time spent with it will to try and earn the game’s achievements.
Topple 2 is a fun game that has a few rough patches. The hike in difficulty in later stages will cause more frustration than fun and the Versus mode is a throwaway mess. If you can get past these trippings, you’ll find a fun puzzler that will kill some time on your local commute.
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