Summary Swap gems around the board to match them up and up to score points.
Description Type: Puzzle
Players: 1 player
Age: Any Age
Game Time: About 2 minutes per level
Developer or Designer: Disney
Different from other match up games
Blatant product endorsement
With the arrival of Disney's Malificent movies due to come out at the end of May, they decided to do some shameless product endorsement by creating a free to play game app called Malificent Free Fall. Designed for the android, it is similar to many other puzzle games available on Google Play. The basic idea is that you have to match up gemstones in rows/columns of three or more to break them, and score points. In the same vein as Bejewelled and Candy Crush, I was initially sceptical, believing it to be a rip off of other games, just with a Disney logo attached.
To a certain extent this is true, but Malificent Free Fall in fact brings in whole new elements to the game that definitely make it stand out. Even if you play the other varieties, this is well worth downloading, especially since it is free.
The game opens up as a book with chapters. There are fifteen levels to each chapter, and once complete you turn the page. The game description says it is a 'spectacular journey', and each time you progress you advance the story.
This is a bit of an exaggeration, because the game does not actually tell a story. You have the book, and chapters, but there is no plot. The closest you get to a story is that with each chapter (five in total, equalling seventy-five levels in total) is a new companion. First you start off with Malificent as a cute child, and then progress to her evil adult form.
Unlike other games that put you on a timer Malificent Free Fall does not have a count down, so you can spend as long as you like on each level. The faster you go, however, the higher your score.
Aside from matching gems, there are numerous other objectives that need to be achieved to complete the level. This turns a standard arcade game into a challenging puzzle that really gets you thinking.
The first objective is to reach a target score, which is different on each level. The second objective is to light up the entire board by matching gems in the darkened areas. As you progress, a third object is to unlock all the caged gems. This is where it becomes tricky.
If you find yourself stuck, you can always use magic powers to help out, but these come at a cost, and can't be used unless you have enough magic points (earned by completing levels).
Once you complete all the objectives, the gems go into free fall mode, to boost your score. Although there is no time limit, you are restricted to a certain number of moves; if you don't achieve all the objectives within your given moves, you fail the level. With enough magic you can skip to the next level, otherwise you lose a life. You have five lives, and they are regenerated over time. If you lose all your lives, you have to wait for them to regenerate before you can continue playing.
Although Malificent Free Fall is clearly a copy of former games, it adds a lot more to the experience, and I definitely recommend it.