‘Suika Game – Aladdin X’ Review – Merging Multiple Melons is Marvelous on Mobile

It sure has been wild watching Suika Game ($2.99) and its growth over time. Its roots are apparently in some kind of game made for a projector, with a Switch port released exclusively on the Japanese eShop languishing for a couple of years without getting much attention at all. Then halfway through last year some Japanese streamers started playing and it absolutely exploded. It didn’t take too long for that wave to reach the West, but it did take a while for its developer, Aladdin X, to get a native app onto mobile devices. Well, here we are! How does it fare?

For those who have somehow avoided Suika Game so far, here’s the run-down on what you can expect. It’s a puzzle game where you drop fruits from the top of the play area into a jar, one by one. If two fruits of the same kind touch each other, they’ll merge into the next bigger fruit type. Your goal is to try to create the biggest fruit type, the watermelon (‘suika‘ is the Japanese word for ‘watermelon’, so there’s your title). Doing so will earn you the most possible points, as two watermelons who merge will simply disappear. Watermelons are also the biggest fruit type, which means they occupy the most space in the jar.

The space in the jar is going to be one of your main concerns as you play. If any of the fruits pop out of the top of the jar, that’s the game. As you make matches, you’ll naturally have more large fruits in the jar, and if you aren’t careful it’s easy to end up with small fruits keeping the bigger ones from touching each other. You’ll almost certainly run out of space sooner or later, especially if you end up with a couple of watermelons you can’t get to touch each other. Your aim is to get as high a score as you can before something pops out the top.

And pop things will, at times. One of the interesting things about Suika Game is how the fruits can interact with each other. The physics in the game can be awfully bouncy at times, and sometimes fruits you think are properly settled will squeeze out or merge with other fruits, throwing everything into chaos. This will sometimes save you, but it can also bury you if an apple gets launched into the air all of a sudden. That lack of predictability is part of the secret sauce of Suika Game, and it works just as well here as it did in the Switch version of the game.

Just like in that version, there’s an online leaderboard that you’ll be ranked on. the game will also keep track of your best score for the day, week, and overall. This mobile version matches the presentation of the Switch game, with the fruits sharing their cute and charming appearance and the jaunty little earworm tune playing the whole time. You can play the game in portrait mode or landscape, so you can enjoy it however you like. There isn’t much more to it than that. This game has always been a bit on the spartan side, and the mobile version doesn’t change that aspect. There are no meta-goals to aim for, no stages to clear, no unlockables to seek out. Just keep shooting for a higher score. You know, like the good old days.

Suika Game is an easy game to get into with a relatively high ceiling for scoring, and it’s incredibly hard to put down. Its pick-up-and-play nature makes it perfectly suited for mobile, and I’m glad I don’t have to pull out my Switch anytime I want to play it now. While we had a browser-based version to play before, it lacked much of the charm of the original, and while there have been a ton of knock-offs, none of them have played quite right. It’s nice to have the real thing here on iOS, looking, sounding, and playing exactly as it should, with no ads or IAPs to mess with the enjoyment. Worth the price? You bet it is.

Post a Comment