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Merged (iOS) game review

Merged game review for iPhone: We get our dominoes on with this iOS puzzle game from the creators of 1010!

Here at Recombu Towers we love a brain-taxing mobile puzzler. The likes of Quetzalcoatl and Threes! have kept us blissfully sane on the daily commute for months, and now Merged – a domino-based puzzle game for Apple’s iPhone and iPad – has joined their ranks.

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In Merged, you’ll find yourself placing randomly-generated single and double-tiled dominoes on a 5×5 grid. You don’t need to match up numbers in order to place a domino, so for instance you can stick a three next to five without incurring the game’s wrath. However, when you manage to connect three identical numbers either horizontally or vertically, they merge together to form a single tile with a number one higher. For instance, connect three ‘five’ tiles and they will merge to create a single ‘six’ tile, in the space where the final domino was laid.

The aim is to keep going for as long as possible, without completely filling the grid (at which point it’s game over). Your only way to do ensure survival is to merge three ‘six’ tiles to get an ‘M’ tile, because if you link three ‘M’ tiles, they completely disappear and remove any surrounding tiles too.

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Merged is a game that’s dead simple to pick up (with no instructions or tutorials, I was up to speed in roughly two minutes) but takes some serious strategy to master. Every domino drop demands careful thought once you get past the early stages, as one wrong placement could ruin your entire game. Luckily you have a virtual bin to stick any unwanted dominoes in, but ditching tiles costs you coins (gathered at the end of each game), so you’ll have to use this feature sparingly.

You can pause your game at any time to come back to it, so Merged is a great game to play at any time, whether you’ve got five minutes or a full hour to kill. You can grab it from today on the App Store for your iPhone or iPad.

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