This game drove me bananas!
The game is totally weird. I do not like the mechanic at all. Rather than swapping icons -- in this case fruits, you can only move into empty spaces. You can make matches horizontally, vertically and diagonally. As you play, more fruits pop up on the board.
At level 30, you unlock the "Challenge" play. Well, my senses were challenged at level one, by level 3 I had had enough.
Earn gold to improve your island hut -- I grew a lawn, built a stone wall and entrance, and put my hut up for sale.
January 18, 2012
A mental workout
Pros: generous hints, untimed, uncluttered interface
Cons: lack of playing instructions, steep learning curve
Villa Banana reminds me heavily of another M3 in its graphics and game pieces so much that I would say that this is the same game except with fruit instead of colored balls. However, I have not played the other game so will leave it at that. The object in Villa Banana is to remove all the gold or silver plates from the playing field by making matches of 3 or more of the same type of fruit over them. The M3 style is like that of the Temple of Bast in Ancient Quest of Saqqarah. In other words, playing pieces, in this case fruit, are scattered around the game board and must be moved together to form M3s. Any moves which do not result in a match cause additional fruit to appear on the board. These new fruits start out as small pieces and then grow to full size with the next move. Unlike AQoS, covering a small fruit will not make it go away, only delay the small fruit's growth until the piece on top is moved off of it, which makes the strategy a lot more complex. If the board becomes too filled up to make any more moves, it must be replayed. Chained fruit obstacles and black balls will appear in later levels to make things even more interesting, and the board shapes will gradually become more complex to make this game a real challenge. Completing each board gives you money for buying upgrades to your beachside villa.
There are an assortment of powerups that will begin appearing after a few boards are played, but instructions for how to use them along with general gameplay instructions are quite lacking, so it will take some trial and error to figure out how to use each powerup to your best advantage. I also found it helpful to wait a few seconds and let the game flash a move hint as the hints often turned out to be really good. Don't let the green bar at the bottom right fool you; that's not a timer, but a bonus bar. If you finish a board with some of the bar left you will get a time bonus, but there is no penalty for taking as much time as you want per board.
Besides the regular game there's also a "challenge" play mode in which you play on a board for the highest score possible, but this part of the game was not all that appealing to me because it seemed monotonous and there are no trophies or awards to win.
The game graphics are OK and the music is repetitive and twangy which didn't bother me, but it's not the best soundtrack I've heard in a game either. The real kicker is the learning curve. Not only are there not many overall instructions on how to play, but Villa Banana gets really hard, really fast. If you enjoy solving tricky logic puzzles this will be fun, but for others this will be an exercise in frustration. I was glad there were only 60 levels to play and was completely ready to move into my villa when I finished the game for some chill time. Recommended, but only for those who want a challenge.
November 21, 2011
Nice game but could do with a bit more development
I really like this kind of match 3 now, but it does take some getting used to if you've only played the more usual swap, chain or collapse kind. (Oriental Dreams, and Hexus are the best I've found). Based on just the 1 hour demo there seems to be a good variety of game board shapes and layouts, but it would be better if there was some choice of items to buy. I'm not sure what an earlier reviewer means by power ups - all I've had is a small bomb which appears in the same way as the fruit.
September 4, 2012
By far the most ridiculous match game I have ever played.
May 11, 2012
Challenging after you get into the game.
December 1, 2011
Surprisingly addictive ... for some!
I loved the Group Tiles sections of Hidden Depths so tried this game on the recommendation of it being a similar type game. It has proved addictive and I play it again and again trying to better my score of remaining money at the end of Level 60 when I've bought everything for the garden. It's a very, very simple game graphics and story wise but quite challenging trying to work out where to put that bit of fruit to its best advantage with Level 60 being the biggest challenge of all. It has a timer but only for a money bonus if level is completed within the time otherwise the game is played time-free.
April 24, 2013