Welcome to Electric Town—or at least a reasonably interesting rendition of a cool part of Tokyo known as Electric Town. The game is the newly released Akihabara, and the lights are bright, the music is groovy, and the game is shapely.
(That is, the game is all about matching shapes.)
Akihabara provides a cool background with some Tokyo style, and the game comes with an anime styled “coach.” The playing field and the shapes falling from the top of the field work a lot like Tetris, the difference being there is always a horizontal bar of four shapes which you can’t rotate, but you can change the shape elements of the bar. The music aspect gets important here; the shapes change only if you tap exactly (or real darn close) to the beat. The goal is to have a bar of shapes which matches the shapes already at the bottom of the field. If you can line up three or more (horizontally or vertically) then those shapes will clear from the screen. Like Tetris, once there is no room at the top for more stuff, the game is over.
The game provides a random set of shapes in each bar (square, diamond, or circle). As the bar drops and the music plays, a horizontal line scrolls from left to right. As the line touches the left edge of each shape you can tap the screen and the shape will change to the one displayed at the top of the field. You can try to make very selective changes to make sure shapes match up when the bar touches down, or you can just go tap crazy and keep making changes (this actually works better than you might think). Besides, if you keep the taps and shape changes going, there is a points multiplier which gets added. The multiplier tops out at 25x, but if you keep it up you earn a hexagon! What’s the big deal with a hexagon, you ask? Well, if you tap it, the hexagon gets added to the bar and wipes out a chunk of whatever it touches (like that stubborn block of shapes you can’t get to match).
Akihabara provides three difficulty levels (match 3, match 4, or match 5) and two speeds (standard and TURBO). Since the game field isn’t exactly super deep you don’t have a lot of time to plan so you need to be quick or lucky. There are 10 levels in campaign mode and several tracks in the single track list so you can play for a while. The game even includes a bonus Midnight Mix of five more tracks if you can finish the campaign (because you need some goals in life).
So Here It Is
Akihabara looks Japanese, sounds eloctro-funky, and plays a bit like Tetris. The game requires quick thinking and good timing, and it has game elements which are simple and easy on the eyes. If you like games which require quick reaction times, this isn’t a bad game. The prices vary based on your platform, with the iOS version coming in at the low end at $2.99. The soundtrack can be purchased for an additional $5.99, and will be available in the App Store starting January 26, 2017.