If you’d take one part Peggle, evolved it to the mobile format, and added a ton of new elements, then perhaps you would end up with Coin Drop. Although the screenshots don't really communicate it that well, there are a lot of things going on in Coin Drop; more than you might expect.
In fact, as far as mobile games go, Coin Drop might even be better than Peggle in some ways.
Coin Drop (iPhone [reviewed], iPad -- universal app)
Occasionally there are some see-saw structures and moving obstacles that force you to time when to drop a coin, and the more things are moving in a level, the harder it becomes. If you want, you can drop as many as five coins at a time and just hope for the best. The coins will then bounce off each other for some unforeseen and chaotic results.
Especially with big score bonuses for lots of different things, you start to approach a level in increasingly complex ways as you keep retrying them for higher scores. But focus too much on the score, and you sometimes forget to grab one of the bad pennies and don't pass the level -- resulting in severe disappointment at how dumb you just were.
It’s quite well designed and although you can easily blast through the levels while getting one or two stars, you’ll keep going back and replaying a level until you finally got all three stars. The stars are counted throughout the game -- with 180 to collect over 60 levels -- and you'll have to get at least 30 stars in every 15-level stage to progress to the next stage. A further fifth stage is "coming soon."
Progression is made even more seamless by the amount of polish and style the game has. For starters, the coins themselves are ridiculously cute and you’re continuously exposed to a super cute splash-screen with a big smiling coin in your face. Getting a final coin stuck in a level will give you a prompt to restart the level rather than shaking your device for minutes on end, hoping to unstuck that one last coin.
The only thing that slightly drags the game down is that some of the levels feel a bit uneven compared to others. One time you’ll easily pass a level with 3 stars and very little effort effort. But the next level you’ll be scratching your head, thinking about how to time a coin so it evades an obstacle and bounces off a pin into a highlighted slot at the bottom, grabbing a bad penny along the way.
The magnets in the last stage can be a bit of a pain to get the hang of as well, often leading you to just drop more coins and hope for the best rather than trying to think of a strategy. Small things like this sometimes lead to more trial and error than thoughtful gameplay. However, every stage does introduce new elements to play around with which helps to keep the experience fresh.
Minor nitpicking aside this is simply a fantastic mobile game. It has all the elements that keep you coming back and want to play more, it uses the touch controls in an accessible and intuitive way, and it's wrapped in a very well designed -- if really cute -- package of crisp and clean graphics.
THE VERDICT - Coin Drop
Reviewed by Maurice Tan