Being a fan of match-three games, I’m always on the lookout for more challenging ones. Lately, that need has been filled by BraveSmart, a primitive setting where three resources are gathered together to build homes in a village.
The game’s premise is simple – match three similar resources (wood, stone or metal) to build a shelter made of the said material. The first shelter that is built is usually a small house, match three of these and it forms a bigger house, match three bigger houses and it makes a mansion – ultimately a three mansions make a castle.
The village is laid out in a hexagonal grid – which makes matching easier. On the third level, a human builder accompanies the resources on the grid – providing more materials as others are matched out. Human builders also come in three kinds – one for wood, one for stone and one for metal. They usually get trapped in between objects so they’ll have to be moved around to proceed with the game. When they are moved, they leave behind whatever it is they use to build the shelter (a plank of wood, a pile of stones or a sheet of metal). When the grid is all filled, the game ends.
The goal is indicated on the top right corner of the screen. It should show a picture of the kind of shelter that needs to be done, and in more advanced levels it will require the player to build more than one of this. As the game progresses, barriers like boulders, sheep and hills will make building more difficult. Sheep can also be matched and “herded” to free up more space.
However, there is an option to purchase weights using gold that one has accumulated. Weights clear out unwanted objects – but do not work on living things such as the builders or sheep. Other items for sale are Undos and Hammers. Undos provide more chances to undo a previous move in the grid. Hammers turn any object into a universal resource (can be matched with two of any kind of material).
Game play and controls are superb as far as I can tell. No lags or difficulties in swiping or doing anything else. The graphics are also quite appropriate for the game’s Scottish theme – with predominant dark greens and maroons as background or even main colors. Sound effects are nice and subtle, only to be balanced out by bagpipes blowing loudly during other parts of the interface.
BraveSmart is a bit similar to Triple Town, but I find myself preferring this game more because the rules are much simpler and less confusing. I also prefer the rugged graphics over the polished, cartoon-y one of Triple Town.
The only gripe I have with this game is it only has four worlds with more or less 10 levels in each world. However, the level of difficulty might affect how fast one finishes all levels. There is a “Coming Soon” box so the developers at least plan on releasing new levels.
Overall, this game is a great mind-bender and not the typical match-three game one might expect. I highly recommend it for people who want a more challenging puzzle on their collection.