Sparkle 2 is wrapped in an elaborate plot: find the five magic keys to complete the game. Does the plot add anything? Not really, instead acting as a drive for progression and some nicely drawn graphical stills. Would the game be the same without it? Most probably, but it does add an air of professionalism that most puzzlers do not tend to bother with and also suggests somewhat higher production values and maybe more care and attention during development than your average ‘match 3′ puzzle game.
Despite all of Sparkle 2’s elaborate plot, fancy graphics and cut-scenes it is based on the simple ‘match 3′ marbles mechanic. It is a simple puzzler but it’s also very enjoyable, combining the key element of fun and providing that ‘just one more go’ factor. It doesn’t matter that you’re chasing five magical keys or wandering through a scary wood, the key element is the playability provided and everything else is just an extra level of gloss.
If you factor in the extra difficulties unlocked through progression in the main game, then Sparkle 2 is also huge. There’s enough here to keep you going for weeks, including two additional modes that’ll test your advanced skills nicely once you unlock them. If Sparkle 2 grips you, you’ll find plenty to do and won’t want to put the game down. The biggest problem is whether you’ll want to or not.
Sparkle 2 is fun and it does try to mix things up with upgrades and power-ups as you progress and in-game, but it also gets repetitive. Levels are recycled with only very slight alterations, such as the speed in which the marbles move and sometimes it all gets a little too much. The game will draw you back because it is fun, but it lacks the long term staying power or progressive difficulty found in the best puzzle games and as such long-term fatigue will set in. With only progression to drive the player and no scoring element, it’s easy to see the amount of levels left and despair rather than being encouraged to achieve bigger and better things.
Sparkle 2 is fun. It’s great in short bursts and occasionally good for a marathon session, but it is repetitive. Once the same stages start to come round again it’s difficult to stay motivated and as a result the game lends itself to a few stages at a time play. Ultimately, Sparkle 2 will be forgtten when the next game comes along, but until then it’s a fun puzzler that’s great while it holds your interest.