Based around the match-3 formula, Futurama: Game of Drones takes the familiar genre and adds a few small but entertaining twists. There is nothing here to amaze avid puzzle gamers, but it does provide enough of the show's flavor to make it fun for fans.
Attack of the drones
Leaping behind the wheel of the U.S.S. Planet Express Ship, Futurama: Game of Drones has you make deliveries as the show’s famously-incompetent crew. But while that may sounds exciting if you are die-hard Futurama, temper your excitement, because what this translates to is a fairly standard tile matching game.
Like Candy Crush Saga, you control the tile based action by switching adjacent colored drones with a quick drag. Yes, there are thousands of these on the app store, but Futurama: Game of Drones is a little different - albeit ever so slightly.
You must group together at least four drones of the same color - not three - on a board made up of hexagons - not squares. Yes, I know these changes are tiny and hardly innovative, but they alter how much you have to be aware of over the majority of other color matching games - particularly if you hope to create larger chains that unlock special drones that can explode, wipe-out entire rows, or remove all drones of a specific color.
As you progress through the game, wrinkles are slowly added to increase its difficulty. The "story" provides lots of excuses for different games types – such as the Professor trying to dispose of nuclear waste in delivers. This demands that along with erasing a set number of color specific drones you also remove them from specific tiles on the board.
The future is always changing
You have a set number of moves for each level, which can get frustrating if you are struggling on a harder stage. This is particularly true when you start to run out of retries and have to wait for them to recharge or pay - oh yes, this is a free-to-play game.
But, while Futurama: Game of Drones does make a few mechanical differences that differ from the norm, most puzzle fans will have seen it before. This leaves it to the comedy and style to really set it apart - all of which take inspiration from the show.
Much of this is shown through the comic book styled cut-scenes between areas of the game. These add a micron of a story, but also provide excuses for new challenges and backdrops within the stages, along with character specific powers that you can use to help in levels - like Fry's ability to clear all drones of a specific color. With loads of characters from the show, this provides a constant fun nod for fans.
Futurama: Game of Drones barely differs from the standard formula, but it does do just enough to stop it feeling like a complete copy. This is aided in no small part by the constantly changing game types, which ensure you always have a new goal to achieve with the standard mechanics.
Sprinkle in a little Futurama humor, and you have a puzzle game that is at least worth a look to franchise fans.