If you’ve been reading the blog or listening to my podcasts over the last few years you would have me gush on the newest puzzle game I’m playing. From Tetris to Bejeweled to Peggle, I’ve played them all and am always eager to play the new kid on the block. When I heard that Chillingo was going to be publishing a new coin matching puzzle game I just had to have a look. Thankfully, I recently had the chance to sit down with a near finished version of Cash Cow and have to say, I liked what I saw.
Cash Cow takes the match three puzzle genre and flips it on it’s ear. Instead of the standard gems you’ll be working with a grid of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The goal of each level is to “cash out” a certain dollar amount by matching up to ten coins to equal a dollar. You can also join say five pennies to turn them into a nickel, clearing space on the board and creating a special glowing coin. The glowing coins are where things get interesting as the more of those you match at once, the greater the powerup that is unleashed.
The games’ two main modes are Arcade and Relaxed, the difference being that Arcade is timed and gets increasingly harder each level. After each round you can use the money you made to buy some virtual items to tidy up Buck’s farm. You see, you are helping Buck the cow repay his mortgage. Bankin the pig will foreclose in 25 days if you do not make enough cash to pay him back by buying all the items he stole from your farm. Yeah, I know.. it’s a thin story, but it’s thankfully not essential for the gameplay and really only shown before level one and again when you beat the game. The game is over in 25 levels which is a little on the short side for me. New hazards and powerups are added as the game progresses, and you can replay the game from the first level keeping your farm and earned cash in the process.
If you are just looking for a quick burst of fun you can jump into the games three quick play modes. Endless is just that, Practice is a quick mode where the goal is to cash out $100, and Puzzle has you trying to get your four coins to the bucket to cash them out. The puzzle mode popped in as a between level break in the main games and I didn’t particularly enjoy them. Thankfully in the main mode you can just send your coins careening to their doom, missing the bucket without anything bad happening. I played the Puzzle mode a few times and all of the levels are recycled from the main game, not to my taste and I doubt I would play them again.
All in all Cash Cow is a decent puzzler. It’s fresh enough to interest even a die hard puzzle game fan as myself, and easy enough for newbies to jump into. I loved what I played so far and am eager to jump back into it when the full version hits. Look for our full review when Cash Cow hits the app store sometime soon.
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