In the ever-growing world of “match ‘em” puzzle games involving jewels and blocks, Starburst aims to freshen up the genre with some unorthodox gameplay and alternative ways to score points. Starburst is played by moving a platform horizontally across five rows as a conveyor brings bricks of various colors towards the edge. You must catch these bricks before they fall and shoot them up to the rows above, building sets of three to clear the required number of rows to advance.
Starburst keeps it fresh by allowing not only standard stacks or rows of three but also different combos such as diagonal, “V-shaped”, and the elusive X configuration. In addition to the colored bricks, there are also bombs that will clear out the brick above it, and flashing bricks that will take whatever color is needed to complete a row. Bricks can even be tossed back onto the conveyor, but will keep coming back until placed in the rows. You can hold up to five bricks at a time and if you let more that five drop during the course of the game you lose.
The colors are bright and backgrounds are spacey but not overly distracting. The music is standard techno faire and ranges from upbeat to mellow and ambient. The controls are simple enough but I sometimes had difficulty shooting breaks and catching others at the same time, resulting in drops. That said, it is simplistic enough to pick up and play with some advanced maneuvers that can be learned with extended play. It’s currently on sale for $0.99 so if you are a fan of these types of games, give it a try.