Gelex HD is an entertaining match-3 game, with pangs of that old classic of Tetris mixed with an air of madness and a dash of colour that makes the game a lot less serious and a lot more family friendly.
The game is an update of an older version of the similar name and has been released with a 50% discount and a number of new features, such as featuring retina display graphics and support for GameCenter, which was missing from older versions.
In terms of storyline, which really doesn’t play a big part in the game, the game revolves around troubled scientist Alex and his new invention, a jelly type product named ‘Gelex’, which the plater must help the physicist destroy.
To do this you must place three blocks of the same colour together as a variety of multicoloured shapes fall from the top of your screen to the pile of blocks building up below.
This is where the similarity to Tetris ends really, when I first picked up the game I thought it was just a rehashed version of the cult classic but aside from the falling blocks format there are few similarities.
The game has a madness to it that Tetris didn’t, the blocks do not settle as they land and are prone to bouncing all over the place, even the blocks that are settled at the bottom of the screen can fly all over the place as blocks fall on them from above.
This fluidity can cause mayhem, especially when the level count increases into double figures the amount of time you are given to control the falling block decreases significantly.
On top of this is the fact that the shapes don’t just drop, spin or move across the screen as the player can move the blocks upwards if they so desire, this may sound like a pointless feature for this sort of game but this does have an advantage in Gelex.
When three blocks of the same colour come together they do not instantly disappear, they distort and shake and only clear once the next blocks fall and the short space of time before this happens can be used to take out other blocks.
This is where the ability to move blocks upwards comes in handy as whilst the blocks are shaking if you move the evaporating square into another block of the same colour it will also begin shaking and will disappear when the next load of blocks start falling.
The feature is a simple one but can be used to clear a lot of bricks and set off big combos, plus it adds a bit of fun to the game as it causes a bit of a scramble to throw one set of bricks into another of the same colour before the bar on the left (which denotes how long you have before you lose control of the current shape and receive another) becomes empty.
There really is only one gameplay mode but this becomes increasingly challenging as you progress through levels as the amount of time you have to control the current set of blocks decreases and the variety of colours coming at you increases.
With the added GameCenter support there are some achievements to try and tick off, which adds another dimension to the game but really doesn’t stop the game running fairly tired quite quickly and after a while a different gameplay mode, a timetrial of something of the sort, seems appealing.
All in all Gelex HD is a fun puzzler, it’s not going to break any records and it’s not going to set the app store on fire but it is a hectic game that entertains for a while.
It is appropriately filed under the ‘family’ section as more hardcore gamers may find the slight lack of control (that comes from the unpredictability of the game) and overall madness to Gelex slightly frustrating.
The colourful nature of the game and the smiling faces of the blocks, which can become rather mocking when one bounces away and thwarts the opportunity for three of the same coloured blocks to come together, will make the game even more appealing to younger gamers.
So avoid Gelex HD if you are expecting some sort of Tetris 2.0, as it is a lot more unpredictable and ultimately frustrating than that, also steer clear if you are a neat freak who like organisation as this game can become muddled and messy kind of out of the blue, but if you’re looking for a light-hearted puzzler that can be picked up and played with ease then Gelex is for you, just don’t expect to be glued to the game for months on end.