The puzzle genre has been represented quite well on the eShop, with plenty of addictive and clever titles eating up hours and hours of playtime. The sheer volume, however, means that in order to stand out a new release has to have some kind of special hook to grab players, be it personality, gameplay mechanics, or some other defining factor. Pong Pong Candy, while a cheerful and colourful little puzzler, doesn't succeed in making a lasting impression, instead feeling like something that would be better on a smartphone.
Pong Pong Candy's gameplay will be familiar to many gamers, as it presents a variation on the tile combining made popular by the superb mobile game Threes! Starting with a small blue candy dot, players combine two of the same candy, getting more points as more advanced candies are created. To combine, players slide the candy tiles horizontally or vertically; the game ends when there are no more moves possible on the grid. There are a fair amount of combinations to create, and keeping track and staying aware of existing tiles is key. As higher combinations are made, the player is granted turns on a wheel to earn power-ups, such as bombs to eliminate unwanted tiles, merging and moving tiles and other minor upgrades.
The presentation is lacking in Pong Pong Candy. The visuals are colourful and bright but lack real personality. Generic gingerbread men and nondescript candies litter the screen. The 3D effect is used sparingly, but the top screen simply shows your score and unlocked candies, while the touch screen is used to play; it's not worth turning up that 3D effect. The sound effects are bland and forgettable, too, and with only game mode there's not much to keep players interested once the familiar gameplay grows old.
There's unfortunately not much to say about Pong Pong Candy. It's not a broken game, and it accomplishes what it sets out to do, but there's just not much here. At its very inexpensive asking price of less than $2 USD, you're getting what you pay for; yet you can get similar and better versions of this type of game elsewhere. Pong Pong Candy is recommended only for people who can't get enough of this genre and have some excess eShop credit to spare.