Written By: Tami Quiring
This game is maddeningly addictive. I opened it up expecting to just take a quick tour, try a few levels to check out the game play, and here I am two hours later writing my review. I finally found the strength to end the game, even though I really wanted to unlock that last volcano level in Survival Mode.
StoneLoops , a game from Polish indie game developer Codeminion  is a refreshingly new twist on the “match three or more” puzzle genre occupied by other casual games such as Luxor and Zuma. I found everything about the game to be pleasing – except the failing to clear a level part, that is. The graphics are very well done, with attention paid to detail, depth and colour. The audio soundtrack is a very nice tribal, monastic style combining orchestration with haunting vocals, matching the game atmosphere very well. The entire theme of the game has been carefully thought through, with bits of humour mixed in if you take the time to check trophy descriptions and other subtle graphics.
Power ups and achievements are plentiful, and as you work your way up the level maps you can win improvements for your jungle houses – you can own up to five houses throughout the various geographic areas of the maps. The geography of the maps ranges from jungle and desert to glaciers and volcanoes, with each area richly textured. There are three different play modes – Survival, Strategy and Classic. There are 75 levels to play through as you add to your houses and trophy collection, so while this game is in the casual genre, it is not a game which you can rush through to the end. This factor alone is another notation on the plus side, because there are far too many casual games on the market which have a short play-through time and are lacking in a desire to play through the game again. StoneLoops is definitely not one of those games. I will be playing through this product – or at least trying to – for quite some time yet.
Another feature which I prefer to have in my games is the ability to play at either full screen or small screen. While in small screen mode, if you move your cursor away from the game window it is instantly paused, something I appreciate very much in a game design because this makes it easier for the player to multi-task.
Every aspect of this game shows that the developers cared about their end product, from the little dinosaur holding the scoreboard to the gems appearing as if they really are being rolled along by the scarabs. This is the first title I’ve tried from Codeminion, and if StoneLoops is any indicator of their game quality, I will definitely be checking into their other titles.
I highly recommend this game, and give it a 10 out of 10 rating.
Images are Copyright -2008 Codeminion