Day 137: Spring Up Harmony

Posted: 2011/03/26 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #137, and today’s game is “Spring Up Harmony”.

We had several pachinko machines in my household growing up, and I really enjoyed them. Pachinko, often referred to as Japanese pinball, is a bit like the game “Plinko” on the Price is Right, which not coincidentally was my absolutely favourite part of that game show when I was watching it as a kid (either home sick, or perhaps during summer vacation). Spring Up Harmony takes some of the best of pachinko, and merges it with Breakout/Arkanoid, and comes up with an amazing game. “Orbyx – Mystic Orbs of Chaos” did that for a few of its large number of levels, but that’s the sole focus of Spring Up Harmony and it’s taken the concept to its ultimate (excellent) conclusion.

First, from the developer (Frozax):

“Spring Up Harmony takes the best of Breakout and Pachinko and spices it up with 2D physics. Launch balls on color-matching items to clear the 30 levels of the game and collect the ten rewards. Use motors, fans, mechanisms, hanging objects and gravity to your advantage to catch the falling objects. Challenge a friend in the multi-player mode, where both players are playing on the same screen.”

In broad terms, you control a ball gun at the top of the screen, and try to drop balls in such a way that they will fall through the environment and land in a collection bucket constantly scrolling back and forth at the bottom of the screen. The most surprising part of this game was the intriquing level design, where you have a to utilise an environment that wouldn’t look out of place in the classic game “The Incredible Machine” to catch the coloured balls. It adds a surprising new level of depth to what is otherwise a simple pick-up-and-play game. The game has portals, gems that shrink, targets that alter their position, and lots of other really interesting ideas. The only thing I could have wished for was a level editor, so that I could create my own once I finished the included 30 levels. Once you’ve beat all the levels, and earned all ten included challenges, there’s some replay here for those who like going for high scores but I would have loved to create my own levels. And beat the game you will, because you have unlimited balls (and each caught ball increases your remaining time) so for most players it will only be a matter of time until you get each board right.

This game was originally 240 Microsoft Points, but somewhere along the line it dropped to 80 Microsoft Points. To my mind it’s a great buy at either price, but with strong presentation (far more attractive than most puzzle games) it’s an absolute must buy at 80 MSP.

Click here to download “Spring Up Harmony”, and then please come back to rate the game.



Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? Click “Share This” above and invite them to.

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Comments
  1. Ibn Abdullah says:

    I bought this game asap after reading your review! I love your site dude!

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