Imagine, if you will, that Tetris had a younger brother who was always getting into trouble. On this particular day, he managed to inject himself full of adrenaline, high-five Bejeweled, and ran off to start his own thing. This is Ponk.
The gameplay seems overwhelming at first: glowing orbs dropping with asteroid tails at a fairly steady rate. But once you get the hang of it, Ponk becomes a fascinatingly addictive challenge.
Unlike a lot of touch-screen games, Ponk requires a lot of touch. Players can move those little orbs all over the screen in order to create sets of three or more by color, which clear them from the board.
Like most puzzle-matching games, the bigger the combo, the more points you get.
There are also several special orbs: lock icons indicate that the orb cannot be moved, bomb icons destroy any color they are connected to, and rainbows take out all of the same color on the board.
Ponk also allows you to freeze your screen (you can build up the duration of the freeze by scoring points--think mana in an RPG), allowing players to move orbs into large combinations or get out of trouble without extra orbs falling.
Of course, if you're not quick enough and the orbs stack too high, it's game over (although you do get a "Not A Trophy" achievement for your first loss).
Overall, Ponk is a great addition to any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad for its simple, unique take on stacking puzzle games and easy addictive qualities.
You can purchase Ponk in Apple's App Store for 99 cents.
What's your favorite stacking puzzle game? Let me know in the comments!