Reviews

Sparkle 2 Review: Losing Your Marbles


If you’re a fan of marble shooters then you know that it can be overwhelming to pick the right one. There are so many out there and very few of them do anything to stand out. Sparkle 2 may not be all that different from its peers but it refines the core gameplay and dresses it in an attractive package.

You should know what to expect. Move the marble gun to match marbles and clear the stage as fast as possible. Its simple and effective. Casual gamers will get addicted and hardcore gamers won’t be able to put it down either. On PS4 players can use the analog stick or the Dual Shock 4’s touch pad to move the marble dial while using X or R2 to fire.

While the touch pad usage is a nice addition it pales in comparison to using the analog stick. There are several enchantments which are abilities that change gameplay to your benefit. One can make each stage easier but then they take longer, another allows you to swap between multiple marbles. You unlock these abilities as you progress across the game map along with new modes. All in all the enchantments are a nice touch but ultimately when you find the ones you prefer you’ll stop experimenting. This basically renders them pointless but 10 tons does deserve credit for trying to mix things up.

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There are 90 or so levels though some of them are just re-skins of others with tweaks to difficulty. This is disappointing but as a whole the package has enough levels, all original or not, that you’ll keep playing through until the end and enjoy it.

Presentation is where Sparkle 2 shines. The music is far above what you’ll find in most marble matching games. The story, while a bit silly, is well done even if it is odd to see such a simple concept be given a plot. The fact that there is solid music, superb art and an attempt at a narrative makes the game stand out from its competitors. Its nice to see a short scene with dialogue from time to time just to break up the repetition that all marble shooters come with. Visually Sparkle 2 isn’t going to win any awards but it gets the job down. The art outside of stages for small cutscenes is pretty good though I wish the actual stages looked as good as them.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a marble shooter like Zuma than Sparkle 2 is for you. 10 tons knows how to give tired casual genres a fresh coat of paint, giving their games a unique charm that you don’t see from all the other developers who phone in their Zuma clones. That said, if you’ve never been a fan of these types of games Sparkle 2 will not make you a believer but if you give it a chance and overlook some repetition you’ll have fun for a few hours and won’t regret it.

Gameplay 75%
Visuals 65%
Depth 60%
Intangibles (Charm, Audio, Originality) 80%
Entertainment 70%
Final Thoughts

Sparkle 2 gives a tired, played out genre a little bit more life. It won't win over those who hate marble matching games but for those who do like them won't find many better right now than Sparkle 2. Review copy provided by 10 tons, Review on PS4.

Overall Score 70%