While some games challenge your ability to button-mash or tap your touchscreen in time with a particular rhythm, Bayo Bongo sets out to test just how fast you can tap your iPad’s screen at all.
The game’s deceptively simple premise is that it shows you a screen filled with blocks of varying colors; your aim is to eliminate them as fast as possible by touching all of the blocks of the same color — as quickly as possible. You’re essentially creating chain reactions with these multi-block combos, but if you’re too slow, you’ll wind up with blocks left over. You can do blocks just two at a time — touching two is the minimum — but you’ll never win the game that way. Higher scores come from tapping every same-colored block on the screen in one move.
A meter on the right tracks your progress through each level, showing how many more blocks you need to eliminate to finish the level.Â The goal is actually about collecting coins that are mixed in among the blocks, and there’s a grid below the game board that catches the coins as you go along. Your aim is to have coins collected in every open across this horizontal grid.
There are variations on the gameplay, of course, such as iced-over blocks or blocks protected by chains. Then there are bombs, which are created when you make longer chains. The longer the chain, the bigger the bomb. Bonus levels come after each successful level, where larger coins are randomly released across the screen (the game’s “setting” is underwater) and you have to touch to collect them.
These variants help to mix the game up, but nothing about it is ever all that hard. It’s a very user-friendly title, easy to pick up and play for gamers of all proficiency levels, but requires some strategic moves to master. It’s also a game that takes strong advantage of the iOS platform’s hardware capabilities; a machine with lesser touchscreen sensitivity would never be able to keep up with the wild, sporadic tapping that the game demands.
The game offers some vibrant graphics that look good on the iPad’s big screen, and the sound effects have a nice quality where the tone gets slightly higher as you add blocks to your chain. There’s no music, but that seems fitting for a title that takes place in the quiet isolation of underwater.
There are only 15 levels (each with multiple boards), so you may be amazed at how fast you conquer the game. But for $1.99, Bayo Bongo offers fun, inventive gameplay that’s definitely worth the pricetag.