Normally, when I hear about a new Astraware release, I have to put aside a nice-sized block of time to check it out. Most of the times, when I get into one of its new games, a low battery or the need to sleep are the only things that stop me from playing it. And so after I downloaded and installed Astraware just released game Glyph, I wondered what it would be that came first,. me or my Treo 650's battery. In this case it was the battery that ran out before me (and not much before). But there can be no doubt Glyph is another game that can skillfully kill a good chunk of time, and one's battery too.
Glyph is a stone matching game where the simple rules of play are to match three or more colored stones, and then tap them with your stylus to remove them. Sounds like a similar Astraware release (Collapse) until you play the Quest mode. In this mode there are a series of 125 puzzles to unlock, each of which is set on a different impressive background. The goal is to complete the puzzles by on one end removing the stones to unlock the glyph, and then on some levels doing a "Simon-like" music and picture segment where it plays a series of tones and you have to repeat it.
I was on level 28 (2-3) when my battery gave out on me. Granted, I didn't start at 100%, but I also didn't think that I would be that engrossed into Glyph that a few hours could go by and I just wanted to get further and further along.
If you are not so interested in following the well thought out storyline of the Quest mode, there is also a quick playing Action mode. This is involves just removing of the glistening stones, and as you move forward in each level there are various other stones and game options that you can use. Special stones include ones that remove all the stones of one color, gold stones that when you match in a group of three you win the board instantly; and even exploding stones that take out a whole section of the board. The boards are all quite varied, but the game play can get repetitive in Action mode.
The only negative comment that I have about Glyph are that the smallish font size on the Treo 680 is hard for my younger (and glasses enhanced) eyes to see. Thankfully, some of the segments that are text have a voice over. But those voice over segments are not consistent.
The colors are great, but you might want to adjust them within the game settings, as the backgrounds can seem washed out in some light areas. Other than those, I find no reason not to pick up Glyph and make your way Christmas shopping with loved ones and have something neat to do why they shop [grin].
Pricing and Availability
Glyph is available from the Astraware web site for both Palm OS and Windows Mobile handhelds and smartphones. A trial version is available, and if you purchase Glyph before December 31, you can save $5 from the original price.
As for me, I am anxiously awaiting my device to re-change. I want to get back into Glyph and see what the end of this puzzle is. It's another one of them Astraware games that makes for a nice break from the holiday rush.
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