First Look: Bad Apples

Bad Apples from Metaversal puts a unique spin on the very well-known “match 3″ puzzle sub-genre. With a great, polished art style and innovative gameplay, this title could become a very big Facebook puzzle hit if Metaversal takes the time to build in social hooks.

The basic gameplay should be familar to puzzle game fans. Players swap two fruits, and when a set of three is matched, they explode and earn the player points. The hook is that the board is also littered with “bad apples.” Match these, and the player actually loses points. Match too many, and it’s game over.

So what’s the solution? After a few rounds I figured it out. A third type of fruit, a spiky crusher fruit, is also present. This fruit moves down its column, crushing the fruit immediately beneath it at the start of every turn. So the trick is to line up the bad apples underneath the crusher, so it will eliminate them for you, allowing you more room to match the good fruits. Strategic! Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty levels are available.

The game looks great and is a lot of fun. So what’s the downside? Bad Apples on Facebook is essentially an advertisement – a demo of the iPhone version. The Facebook release isn’t limited – it includes all the iPhone features. It’s a full game. There is just zero Facebook integration. You can’t invite your friends, you can’t compare your score to theirs… there are no social hooks of any kind.

Bad Apples is fun and free, and definitely worth playing. But without any social hooks it is unlikely to ever become a big hit. Fingers crossed that Metaversal realizes this and is prepping some Facebook-specific improvements.

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  1. It’d be a pity if it sank without trace due to lack of social “oomph”. What social features do you think it should add?

    Obvious options:

    - The ability for friends to “donate” more spiky fruits, so you can destroy more bad apples
    - Beautiful, cool looking “prizes” or trophies that you can put on your profile
    - High score tables

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