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iPhone game of the day: Chop Sushi!

Game:Chop Sushi!
Price:Free (at press time)
Buy it now from the iTunes StoreUS/UK

Chop Sushi is a "match-3" puzzle game, similar to Bejeweled or Puzzle Quest or hundreds of other games. Yet, thanks to anoff-kilter, almost Monty Python-in-Japan-style personalityand an interestinggameplay twist, we've never played anything quite like it...

It starts with the game's visual style and personality - instead of colored orbs or jewels, you play withbits of sushi, wasabi, and fish. Rather than exploring a medieval fantasy map or taking the typical puzzle game approach of, you know, not actually going anywhere at all, your character strolls through a stylized artscape full of frazzled salarymen and other characters. When you speak to them, they explain to you the source of their stress - which you somehowalleviate by kicking the crap out of them in puzzle battle.

Then there's the gameplay itself, which tweaks the match 3 formula just enough to bend your brain a little. Likemost puzzle game vs modes, you take turns matching pieces with your enemy. If you match wasabi, you damage your opponent. However, instead of simply choosing two pieces of sushi to swap positions, as you would in Bejeweled, you grab one piece of sushi and then send it to any of the four outer edges, where it will then push its way back onto the board, shifting the positions of every other piece in that row or column. If that's tough to envision, just understand this: it enables you to move pieces around the board much more easily than typical match-3 games do, which gives you more options and makes gameplay much more explosive. So do the wasabi bombs and other tweaks the game introduces over time.

We thought we'd had enough of puzzle games, but Chop Sushirecharged our appetites. Best of all, there's both a free version, so you can try it risk free, and an iPad version for you big screen-o-philes.

Oh. Also ...there is fishing. Naturally. Why wouldn't there be?

Jul 15, 2010