capsule review

Truffula Shuffula Review: Bejeweled With a Dr. Seuss Twist


NBC Universal's animated feature The Lorax is now in theaters. The movie, which is based on Dr. Seuss's popular children's book, hit theaters accompanied by some fun, free apps, such as The Official Lorax App and Truffula Shuffula.

The free Truffula Shuffula is a match-three game, similar to Bejeweled. The game is extremely simple, and it doesn't have a lot of content, but it is executed and rendered well. That nice execution will cost you, though, in space--the app is a whopping 21MB, which is pretty big for a casual game.

Truffula Shuffula is meant to be a companion app for the movie. If you haven't seen the movie (or read the book), here's a quick summary: The Lorax is a small, mustached creature who "speaks for the [Truffula] trees" against the Once-ler. The Once-ler (who represents large, environmentally unfriendly corporations) tells the story of how he arrived in a world full of beautiful Truffula trees. As he began cutting down the trees to make factories, the Lorax popped up and told him that it was a bad idea. The Once-ler ignored the Lorax and kept cutting down the trees, and eventually the world became a polluted, awful place.

Of course, the game has little to do with the story. In Truffula Shuffula, you see a grid of objects, some of which are whimsical, whirly Truffula trees, and some of which are marshmallows, hot-chocolate swirls, and cherries. Your goal is to switch objects to create lines of three or more like objects. When you successfully match three objects, those objects disappear and more objects fall from the top of the screen.

The "Shuffula" part of the game comes in when you run out of moves. When you can no longer switch any objects to create a matching line, you can tap the Truffula Shuffula button to mix up the objects on the board. You get three Shuffulas per game, and you can use them at any time. However, it's probably a good idea to wait until you have no moves left (a running counter at the bottom of the screen tells you how many moves are possible on the board).

That's pretty much the entire game. As you advance in score, you move up in levels, though the levels don't become significantly harder even when new objects are introduced. The game is well executed, and the graphics are excellent. A mild soundtrack plays in the background, along with brighter sound effects, and when you perform particularly well you may see the Lorax pop up to congratulate you. The game runs smoothly, too, though it does drain battery life quickly.

If you like match-three games, Truffula Shuffula is both addictive and attractive. I'm not sure if it's great as a casual game, because of its resource-heavy nature, but it's definitely cute for kids and adults alike.

We tested this app using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0.2.

This story, "Truffula Shuffula Review: Bejeweled With a Dr. Seuss Twist" was originally published by PCWorld.

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