Sparkle Unleashed review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS3
Publisher: 10tons
Developer: 10tons
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Seeing as Sparkle Unleashed is basically Sparkle 2 with a slightly different control scheme, and that Sparkle 2 was basically just Sparkle with a different name, and that Sparkle was really just a reskinned Zuma, I don’t have much to say about the newest game in the franchise that I didn’t write back in December 2013.

I mean, just consider the game’s big new — and possibly only new — feature: the marble shooter moves along the bottom, instead of remaining in a static position. As changes go, that’s basically on par with a new hat in terms of innovation. It changes Sparkle’s basic gameplay so little, we’d have to have a semantic discussion about what exactly “change” is in order to properly measure it here.


Beyond that one thing, Sparkle Unleashed is identical to the first two games in the series. It looks the same in virtually every respect, from the environments to the overworld maps to the balls themselves. The gameplay hasn’t changed all that much either; apart from the aforementioned moving marble shooter, there are a couple of power-ups and obstacles here that weren’t present the first two times around, but again, the amount of tangible difference they make to the way you play the game is so small that its very existence is debatable.

Does that mean you shouldn’t buy Sparkle Unleashed? Well, that depends. If you’re new to the franchise as as Xbox One-only gamer, then sure, by all means check it out. It’s by no means a bad game, just an unoriginal one, and if you want a Zuma clone for whatever reason, it will more than do the trick. Likewise, if you liked the first two games and want more of the exact same, then, again, you won’t be disappointed here. Expect anything more than that, though — like, anything at all — and you’ll find that there’s really nothing in the way of that here.

Grade: C+