Silent Hill 2. Condemned. Outlast 2. The rarefied air respired up here by only the scariest games in the horror pantheon is foggy and smoggy, but exclusive. This air is only to be breathed by the most terrifying games imaginable, and imitators need not apply. Yet, we may have a strong applicant for the terror hall of fame in Juicy Fruits Match 3 Crush, which may be the most terrifying game I’ve ever played on a mobile device.
Now, at this stage, you must easily be thinking, “It’s just a match 3 puzzle game, mate. It’s for kids. Wise up.” Oh no. Oh no. You have not seen the horrors I have. I mean, yes, sticking to the facts for now: Juicy Fruits Match 3 Crush is a match-3 puzzler styled in the same vein as Bejeweled or Candy Crush Saga. You match up the similar-coloured blocks in threes, and get bonuses if you match colours in fours, fives, or beyond. It’s a sub-genre now familiar to everyone, most notably so for how much like work it feels like – match the bricks, get paid a pishy amount of coins, lather rinse repeat; except you don’t get to clock out at the end of the day. Don’t forget: you’re here forever.
Juicy Fruits (which has nothing to do with the Wrigley chewing gum brand) is much more of the same and won’t bring any surprises to anyone that’s even half-familiar with the genre. Match the blocks, and keep doing it until you’ve finished a billion levels. It’s hard to screw up this formula, and thankfully this game is as functional as any match-3 you’ve ever played; you’ll get as much joy out of it as any other.
So where does the terror come in? In a bid to endear itself to the kid market, Juicy Fruits has tried its damnedest to be as cute and cuddly as possible, so as to reel in those little infants and their parents’ credit cards. The game is fronted by a dancing teddy bear, and what could be wrong with that? It’s perhaps the most inoffensive thing one could ever think of. This is fine, it’s just the rest of the game that’s horrible. It’s as if the development team were a group of aliens sent from Jupiter with only a rough notion of the idea of cute. Just look for yourself.
I need therapy after playing this game. This is a horrific design choice reminiscent of that ghastly sun from Teletubbies! Take nothing away from Juicy Fruits: it’s a functional, if run-of-the-mill title that can easily be played, but my god, how can that be done when looking into the faces of hundreds of baby fruits that look as if they could and would wear your skin at a moment’s notice?!
I mean, everything else is fine. The music is fine, the colours are shiny and bright which will keep the weans entertained, and the game is as level-rich as the non-off-brand version, but, my god, I’m still distracted by those disgusting fruity faces! I’m completely and utterly distracted from writing this review because no matter how much I try and appreciate how technically passable everything is, from graphics to gameplay, all I see in my mind is the most horrible thing in the world, those nightmarish faces. Lads, I’ll give you a 5/10 right now if you clear off and never show me those faces again.
Am I a grinch? Maybe, but I just couldn’t stomach this game. Maybe it’s a mix of two things I hate, babies and fruit, that makes it repugnant to me, and your mileage may vary if you’re unlikely to contract diabetes from saccharine software messes such as this. That aside, if the graphics had just constituted of normal fruit, this game would have been fine and forgettable. It is fine as is, and completely playable. I just wish there wasn't night terrors.
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
It plays okay, but oh god, no, those faces, no.