Alien Hive mixes the combine-three gameplay of Triple Town with rows and columns like Bejeweled. It asks you to combine three like objects to evolve them into something else, with items coming in the form of various plants and alien species. The more combinations you make, the more points you'll earn, but the more crowded the screen will become with a larger variety of individual kinds of symbols.
Rather than allowing you to swap the location of two symbols, like in Bejeweled, or even tapping to place a new object, like in Triple Town, Alien Hive instead asks you to slide tiles around like in a tile-sliding puzzle where you're attempting to create a final image from scrambled tiles. Here, there's only one empty square on the board at once, and each move you make wastes one crystal of energy. When your energy runs out, it's game over and you'll be forced to start over. Combine this energy requirement with the incredibly difficult tile swapping gameplay and you have a game that's almost more challenging than fun.
To make matters worse, robots will appear on the board at random, and they'll stop you from moving one particular symbol, which is wrapped in a bubble. This bubble moves in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, so you'll need to plan your moves even farther ahead to really succeed.
There are plenty of power-ups that will, in theory, help you succeed along the way, but you'll only receive a few for free before being asked to purchase more with real-world money or coins that you earn by playing. These power-ups can scramble all items on the board, remove the board's robots, or instantly evolve a set of two symbols without requiring the third symbol, as examples. Along the way, the game expects you to be able to combine enough aliens to evolve them into massive Pokemon-like creatures that are collected in a photo album, but even earning a single one is easier said than done.
Putting it simply, Alien Hive is a difficult game. Each action requires plenty of forethought and strategy, and if you're not prepared to spend a ton of time planning out multiple moves in advance, you might struggle to really even begin to make progress here. Those looking for a huge challenge, though, can now download Alien Hive for free on iOS and Android.
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Have you tried Alien Hive on either iOS or Android? What do you think of this challenging new puzzle game? Let us know in the comments!