Portabliss: Fractal: Make Blooms Not War (iPad)

Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Fractal: Make Blooms Not War..

My entire life, I've had a problem. When I see multiple shapes or objects of the same color, I feel this need to push them together and make them vanish. It's instinctual, some kind of primordial need I must fulfill at every given opportunity.

And that's why I can't put down Fractal: Make Blooms Not War from Cipher Prime, the developer of Pulse and Auditorium.%Gallery-132534%

The titular "blooms" are pentagonal clusters of similarly colored pegs -- once a bloom is created, it disappears and ushers in more pegs to play with. It's a vicious, never-ending cycle of destruction I'm all too happy to engage in. Believe me, I'm pretty disgusted in myself.

To move these colored dots around the game world, you simply place your finger at one of its edges. It then moves in that direction, producing another dot in its wake. Sometimes it produces a block of the same color, sometimes a differently colored block manifests itself.

There's a ton of variety in Fractal: one moment, it's all about flooding the game grid with blocks so that you can chain together several blooms; sometimes it's about clearing the game grid in as few moves as possible. Regardless of the objective, there are always a set number of moves you can make on each level.

The game is spread across a few modes: Arcade, Campaign and Puzzle. Arcade is a non-stop survival-based mode where you produce blooms as quickly and efficiently as you can, hopefully eradicating small time blocks that bolster your timer, which is constantly ticking down. Puzzle mode is exactly that: a series of maps where it's more about planning your move and executing than trying to produce on the fly. Finally, Campaign is the main, challenging chunk of the game, which continually throws tougher and tougher grids at you and only offers a checkpoint every ten levels.

If you suffer from the same affliction I do, then Fractal: Make Blooms Not War is easily suggested as a quick fix, a way to shut up that internal demon who just hates colored blocks and needs them neatly segregated and eradicated from this world -- that is, until we can find a permanent cure that will eradicate him once and for all.

Fractal: Make Blooms Not War is available from the iOS App Store for $1.99. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.