Genre:Puzzle Developer:QuickByte Games
Laps – Fuse (Free) by QuickByte Games is a new kind of match-three puzzle game that’ll leave you spinning and craving more. If you enjoyed games like Threes! and 13 Thieves, then you will love the refreshing new gameplay that Laps – Fuse brings to the App Store.
I’ve been feeling a bit stressed out lately over different issues in my life, but I’ve always found video games help me unwind and relax. This is how it’s been for years, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. While I’ve gone through a ton of different genres of games throughout my lifetime, my favorite is definitely puzzle games, as they help me de-stress and keep my brain stimulated at the same time. While I’m not the best when it comes to numbers, I’ve enjoyed some numerical puzzle games in the past, such as Threes! and The Mesh. So when I saw Laps – Fuse on the App Store, I became intrigued by the concept, and not deterred away by the numbers.
Visually, Laps – Fuse features a simple and clean design that feels elegant and minimal. The game is in 2-D, but because of the depth and texture of the circular board and rotating circle knobs, it feels more like 2.5-D. There’s a rich navy blue background that helps make the colored circles pop, and there are some fun bubbly effects that occur when matches happen. All animations in Laps – Fuse are buttery smooth and fluid, with no issues of lag on my iPhone 7. There’s also a soothing ambient soundtrack that is a pleasure to listen to, and the effervescent sound effects are just fun.
There are two game modes in Laps – Fuse. The Normal mode gives players a set amount of “laps” around a circle to make matches and merge numbers together. Once the last lap finishes up, then the round is over (unless you choose to continue by watching an ad) and your score gets tallied up. Your final score is determined by the number of matches you made, combos, and higher number values equal to more points.
Each round you play gets you experience points, and you’ll “level up” after getting enough to fill the gauge. When you advance in rank, normal mode receives more laps, giving you an opportunity to get better scores and have longer games. Once you reach level 12, you’ll unlock “Endless Mode.” In Endless, players will just match-and-merge until the board fills up and there’s no space for any more matches.
The Endless Mode can also be unlocked through an in-app purchase of $2.99.
As you play, it’s possible to earn a multiplier bonus for quick matches and merges. If you’re able to fill up the bar at the top before it disappears, then the multiplier increases. If you fail to do so, then it resets.
Controls in Laps – Fuse are simple and allow the game to be played entirely with one hand. It’s also a test of your hand-eye coordination, which I like. The gameplay is simple: a numbered, colored circle will rotate around the larger, circular grid with spots for the numbered pieces to go into. When you tap on the screen, that rotating circle launches in a line towards the center, and fills up a node.
You have to match three like-numbered circles together in order for it them to merge into the next number, which is always double the previous one. So it goes from 1 to 2, then 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and so on. This number merging concept definitely reminds me of Threes!, but the circular matching mechanic makes it different enough to be worth checking out.
When matches get made in the game and combos happen quickly, then the highest value gets pulled towards the center, and you repeat the process. It’s a straightforward gameplay mechanic, but Laps – Fuse has high replay value, because you’ll have plenty of reason to come back and beat your score while leveling up.
Laps – Fuse is an interesting puzzle game because it combines several different puzzle mechanics into one addictive mashup. It’s a match-three bubble shooter with numbers and merging, all while chasing your high score. Not to mention that the game looks rather stylish, the music and sounds are quirky and fun, and the controls work out well. This is a perfect little game to help you kill some time, whether it’s minutes or hours.
I think having to reach level 12 to unlock Endless Mode is a bit high, and this requirement should definitely be lowered. It’s also rather annoying that even if you pay for the $2.99 IAP to get Endless Mode early, the game still has ads that you can voluntarily watch for continues or double experience. I would have thought that paying came with a premium experience, so I’m a bit disappointed to see that the IAP doesn’t eliminate ads entirely.
As someone who loves puzzles and interesting mashups, Laps – Fuse definitely fits the bill. The game has exquisite visuals and delightful sounds, and one-touch controls are simple to pick up but the gameplay is hard to master. There’s definite replay value here, so this is a title I’ll be coming back to time after time for a quick gaming fix.
I highly recommend giving Laps – Fuse a try if you haven’t already. You can find Laps – Fuse on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases.