Last year, when discussing Kristan Reed's 10/10 review of Zookeeper FX Touch Edition, Oli suggested that "the next iteration is a shoo-in for our first 12". Thank goodness App of the Day doesn't require me to award a score, because I might just have had to disagree with him. Zookeeper Battle is excellent, but I'm not convinced it's worth more than an 11.
It is as it sounds: a competitive multiplayer version of the game Kristan rightly called "the world's most addictive riff on Bejeweled". This is the third time I've been caught in Zookeeper's grip and I'm still not entirely sure why it's so much better than the many other match-three games that do pretty much exactly the same thing. It's something that goes beyond the animals being chunkily adorable (even if they are) and the music being amazing (even though it is). There's some mystical alchemy at work, a special kind of digital magic that defies all logic and reason.
Whatever it is that makes Zookeeper great is back in abundance here. It's always been a game that thrives on simplicity, and sensibly developer Kiteretsu has opted for a brisk, no-fuss setup. Within 30 seconds you're up and running: you select an avatar and a username, and choose to play against random opponents or Game Center chums.