Daily iPhone App: Sneezies Match is a good idea made better

I know developer Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer (co-creator of apps like Velocispider and Duckers, along with artist Craig Sharpe) fairly well, having met up with him at a number of different conferences and events in the past. His studio released a game called Socks a little while ago, which was just a fun, simple puzzle game (meant for kids, really) where you matched socks of similar patterns. "It's fun," I told him after I played that one, "but it needs some more depth -- a real progression system."

A little while later, Gavin showed me a new game he was working on that actually used my feedback (which, disclaimer, was freely offered and unsolicited), and this week on the App Store, Retro Dreamer released it as Sneezies Match, which uses the company's "Sneezies" characters in a simple matching puzzle game, similar to Socks, complete with a full power-up and progression system.

You play Sneezies Match by dragging around lines of variously colored Sneezies, lining them up so that Sneezies of the same color are adjacent to each other. Once they're all together, you can tap on them, and they'll clear out and drop off into buckets below, scoring points and powering up extra abilities. The game isn't timed at all, which I really like -- instead, you just get a certain number of turns, and the goal is to score as high as possible within the turn limit.

Sneezies is colorful and interesting -- there could be a little more depth to it, and it's sometimes annoying to have to re-align a whole structure of Sneezies if you want them to fall in certain powerup buckets down below. There are also ads placed liberally throughout the app, which can be annoying, though you can remove them (or buy more in-app currency) with an in-app purchase. But aside from those issues, Sneezies Match is a lot of addictive fun, and well worth a download. Just personally, it's really exciting for me to see Retro Dreamer taking feedback and doing something fun and new with it. Apps on the App Store are always growing and evolving, of course, but it's very cool to follow the line of a gameplay idea through the course of its evolution.