To date, Boomdash Digital are probably best known for the chilling and gory horror movie tie-in game, Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare. So I should start this review by letting you know that their latest release, Petal Pop Adventures (free, iOS and Android), is about as far from Deadites and chainsaws as it gets. Instead it’s a colorful and cheery, all-ages friendly bubble shooter style puzzler filled with fairies, pretty flowers and cute animal characters.

In it, you play as Flower Petal, a fairy princess who’s job it is to look after all the plants and animals in the kingdom. Not an easy gig, since a mischievous caterpillar and his leprechaun henchman take great delight in roaming the land, causing trouble and setting traps for unwitting critters as they go. Joined by her trusty sidekick, Rabbit, it’s up to Flower Petal to journey around in search of friends who need rescuing from these ne’er-do-wells.

If you’ve ever played a Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble type game, you’ll be familiar with how the gameplay in Petal Pop Adventures works. Each of its 100+ levels presents you with a unique assortment of different colored flowers, and your goal is to clear the playing field of them in the least amount of moves possible. This is done by manning a flower cannon and chaining together groups of three or more same-colored flowers in order to magic them away.

As you progress further in the game, the puzzle layouts get trickier, new environmental obstacles are periodically introduced, and the caterpillar and leprechaun show up to make your life more difficult by pulling sneaky stunts like freezing flowers and jamming up your cannon. It’s a good job, then, that you have a range of special magical boosters, such as rockets and bombs, at your disposal to aid you in clearing particularly tough levels. These special items can be bought before or during each stage, using the gems you earn throughout the game.

Petal Pop Adventures is a free-to-play game, so of course it has an in-game store in which you can purchase gems, extra lives and magical boosters using real-world money. If you prefer to avoid IAPs, you do have the option to link the game to your Facebook account and ask your friends to send you items you need instead. I didn’t have the chance to try it out for this review, but apparently the Facebook integration also allows you to share screenshots and compare high-scores and achievements with your buddies, which sounds like a fun feature.

All in all, I had a blast playing Petal Pop Adventures. Thanks to its cute and colorful fairytale aesthetic and pick-up-and-play appeal, the game will probably strike a chord most with younger players. But that being said, the game is sophisticated, challenging and feature-packed enough that adults will find a lot to appreciate and enjoy about it too.

Verdict

Petal Pop Adventures is a fun and charming spin on a Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble type game. Approachable enough for kids and challenging enough for adults. Highly recommended to anyone who isn’t totally averse to free-to-play titles.

Easy to play and addictive
Tons of levels (120 in total)
Cute cartoony visuals and upbeat music
Facebook integration
The usual F2P annoyances like timers etc.
Cutesy aesthetic won't be to everyone's taste
4.0
Great