Thứ Hai, 9 tháng 1, 2012

Push on Facebook: Set (lots of) time aside for this puzzling battle of wits

If you hadn't noticed, Facebook games are steadily becoming more polished, for sure. But they're also growing to be more challenging, deep and visually appealing. Push on Facebook is one of those games, but it's not without a few minor flaws. This competitive puzzle game, developed by Social Spiel is a fresh take on games like Chinese Checkers and Peg Solitaire and takes a great deal of ingenuity to play well in. Push plays almost exactly how it sounds. Players are supplied with Pops, cutesy little balls with eyes that act as the playing pieces on a hexagonal board filled with holes.

To defeat your opponent you must push three of their Pops off the edge of the board using strategic movements and coordination with your team of Pops. If three of your Pops get pushed off the board, it's game over for you and those Pops are toast for good. Trust us, you'll soon enough see that it's not as easy as it might sound.

Join us after the break for more of our impressions of Push.

Push in Action
Throughout the beginning of the game, you'll be guided by Pon Du Bear, a strangely pear-shaped bear that has an affinity for post-modern furniture and high-heel boots. It's this odd creature that will tell you that you can move up to three Pops at a time either sideways or in a straight line by clicking on the Pops and then selecting their destination. It takes one more Pop than the amount of Pops you're trying to push in order to push them back one space in direction you're trying to move them. For instance, if you're trying to move one Pop, you'll need two of your own Pops to push it. If you want to move two of your opponent's Pops, you'll need three in a row to make it happen.

While the gameplay sounds simple enough, it's working against an opponent's wits that makes Push challenging. Opposing players and AI opponents alike are going to catch on to what you're up to rather quickly, forcing you to corner their Pops using feint moves and smart positioning. Unless you have a knack for puzzlers, you're going to use far more than just two Pops to push one enemy Pop off the edge.

Ranked matches, or games of Push with players in real time that contribute to a global leader board, are another beast entirely. This is because, in respect of the opposing player, you only have about 30 seconds to make each move. While you're given two time-outs, meaning you take longer than the 30 seconds to make a move (shifting the turn to your opponent), your third means game over. However, Pops double as the game's currency, which when bought in excess from the Pop Shop using Facebook Credits can be used for special powers in ranked matches.

Push Ranked Match
There are three powers to choose from: Teleport, Double Move, and Revive. Teleport allows you to move a Pop in danger to any location on the board while Double Move allows you to make two moves in one turn. Revive does just as it sounds: brings one pushed Pop back onto the playing field. Each runs on a cooldown, meaning you can't use them every turn, and cost 60 Pops each. While the game supplies players with 15 free Pops daily, big spenders could easily dominate games using these powers, somewhat trivializing the ranked system.

However, if you're just looking to add a few friends to play around with in real time and flex that thinking muscle a bit, this is a fine place to do just that. Just make sure you have a lot of time to put aside for a match as equally matched players could potential duke it out for hours, which isn't exactly what Facebook games are all about. Regardless, it's Facebook games like Push--you know, the ones that require thinking--that do well to give the genre a good name.

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