October 18, 2011 5:00 AM | Danny Cowan
The word "innovation" has officially lost all meaning, as Nokia has named the mobile puzzler Sparkle the winner of its "Calling All Innovators" contest, awarding producer 10tons a cash prize of $250,000.
Nokia describes Sparkle's inspired gameplay: "You control a circular orb launcher that when pressed fires colored orbs. As you do this, a chain of identical-but-random orbs will be flowing around a track. [...] In order to stop this, your [sic] fire your colored orbs at the matching colored orbs on the track. Match three or more of the same color and you'll make them vanish [...]"
Sparkle's innovative color-matching, stuff-disappearing gameplay is copied from Mitchell's 1998 arcade game Puzz Loop, which itself has been cloned many, many times since in games like Zuma and Luxor. Even in an age where cloned concepts like Angry Birds and Tiny Wings are top sellers, calling the creator of a Puzz Loop clone an "innovator" is beyond absurd.
To add further insult, Sparkle isn't even a new game -- it was originally published for PC platforms in 2007, with the mobile port being a recent development. I wonder how much of the prize money 10tons plans to split with Mitchell?
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