I’ve owned a number of games from Handmark and Astraware (part of Handmark). They have always been polished, high-quality productions. Now they have released Glyph (from Sandlot Games), an object-removal style game in the vein of Bejeweled.
In Glyph, you remove matching, connected items from the screen by tapping them. As you remove items, you clear the playing field which reveals a graphic which is one of the glyphs the game is named for. There are special items that appear that will assist you in you goal – items that will change all items to the same color or sort the colored pieces for you, for example. There are also impediments like stones that can only be removed with one of the special bombs etc. Every so many levels, you play an tone matching game (think of the old pattern matching game “Simon”) which results in the Glyph being placed on a playing board. The goal is to obtain all the glyphs and complete the board.
What I liked: I found the graphics to be very attractive and pleasant to look at. The game plays in landscape mode, and can be played with the “Home” button to the right or left. The basic notion and storyline are adequate to keep the game moving along.
What needs improvement: The gameplay was interesting at first, but didn’t hold my interest very well over a long period of time. This might be partly due to some frustration I experienced due to the imprecision of the game in recognizing my touches. The wasn’t as responsive as I thought it should be. Sometimes I’d click on a item to remove and it would actually take two or three taps to get the block to actually disappear. Over time, it got to be a little frustrating.
NOTE: I spoke with a rep from the company about the difficulty I was experiencing and some possible scenarios, and she indicated that they hadn’t had other reports of this type of behavior from the game. I have not had problems with other games, so I don’t think the issue is with my iPhone, but, I think it’s important to note for the record that my experience may not be universal.
Overall: I like what Glyph is trying to be, but I found the frustrations I experienced made the gameplay less interesting over the long term than other games I’ve purchased from Handmark/Astraware. It spoiled the gameplay experience for me. My hope is that they will clear up some of the roughness. That would make the game a welcome addition to any gaming collection. My verdict is to pass for now, but watch for any updates that appear to improve touch recognition. If that happens, you will likely see me revisit this game.