I have been playing Call of Atlantis Premium (4.5/5 average Amazon review rating, all ages, currently priced at $4.99) for days, and I can’t seem to stop!
Call of Atlantis Premium is one of those symbol-matching games, where you must make matches of at least three of the same symbol in a vertical or horizontal row by swapping adjacent symbols. Each matched set is removed from the puzzle grid and surrounding symbols drop down into the vacated spaces. A number of artifact pieces have been placed in each grid, and your goal is to free them from the grid by moving them to the bottom row.
There’s a time limit, and the difficulty of the game is gradually increased from level to level by decreases in the amount of time you’re given to solve the grid and the introduction of obstacles.
You can also free certain ‘helper’ items, or power-ups, like bombs that can be used to take out a large area of unmatched symbols in the grid, an hourglass that can be used to add more time to your clock, a heart that represents an extra life, a lightning bolt that takes out all of a certain symbol on the grid, etc.
The ‘Atlantis’ aspect comes in with the game’s storyline. You’re traveling through the great, ancient cities, restoring artifacts to their proper places in palaces and temples, and collecting a power gemstone when you’ve completed all the puzzles for each city. You restore the power gemstones to an underwater altar at the end of each ‘city’ round.
As you get to the latter stages, the grids themselves become more challenging because they’re no longer simple squares, and increasing numbers of symbols are ‘frozen’, such that you must match them to at least two more of the same symbol more than once in order to unlock them and get them to drop down into the lower levels of the grid. Until the frozen symbols are unlocked, the columns beneath them remain empty.
Some of the more difficult grids are also broken up into pieces, where the artifact you need is in an upper or side area that’s not easily accessible from the main game grid.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s very, VERY fun, and also very addictive. After I’d collected and restored all seven of the power gems, I was able to go back and re-play the game from the start with all my accumulated points and power-ups intact. However, the puzzles were all new and all more challenging than the first time around. New obstacles were introduced.
One of the new obstacles is boulders. These boulders can be swapped for other symbols, but don’t match anything, so they decrease the available matches in any grid.
Another obstacle is bricked-in squares, blocking any exit from their columns in the bottom row of the game grid. You soon realize that if an artifact is in a column with a bricked-in square at the bottom, you’ll have to find a way to move it into a different column as quickly as possible. Suddenly, strategy becomes very important and you have to start planning ahead. The only way to free artifacts in these blocked columns is to create a scenario in which you’ll be able to swap the artifact symbol with something to its left or right, completing a vertical matched set of three or more symbols. This is especially challenging when the artifact is in a blocked column at the left or right edge of the game grid, because in that case you only have one column to work with in trying to set up the match / swap you need to free the artifact.
As I said, I’ve been playing Call of Atlantis Premium for days and I’m still not sick of it. I have repeatedly begun playing with a full battery charge on my Fire, continued playing nonstop until my battery was nearly dead, waited very impatiently for my battery to recharge, and immediately picked up right where I left off for another lengthy, battery-draining session.
I love the graphics but I found the music cloying and distracting. Luckily, there’s an Options menu that allows you to turn it down.
I got Call of Atlantis Premium a long time ago, when it was a Free App of the Day, but never actually gave it a try until recently. Given the MANY hours of gameplay I’ve enjoyed so far—and will continue to enjoy, just as soon as I finish writing this review!—, I think it’s well worth the current price of $4.99.