You Must Build A Boat Review

You Must Build A Boat Review

Jun 16, 2015

You Must Build A Boat is one of those games that begs to be checked out, and with its pedigree, it wasn’t too hard to give into the temptation.

The backstory is a bit tough to glean, but the design mostly allows one to gloss over that minor detail; it has a retro, 2D look, with soft colors and interesting sounds. The playing area consists of a platform running portion at the top, and a grid of icon tiles that can be pulled along lines to create matched sets of 3, which dissolve and are replaced via gravity.

The gameplay is fast-paced. The running aspect is a function of the match 3 action, because matching the right tiles controls the actions of the runner, some of which are necessary to get by a certain obstacle. Matching swords, for instance, allows our runner to take on violent enemies and monsters, while matching shields give him some expendable protection. The whole idea is to swipe up, down, left and right to keep going on and post stuff, or until one’s ymbo2lifesource runs out from being attacked or relative inactivity.

The RPG element is fun to get into as well. Murky as the backstory is, it is sufficient to know one has to build a better boat. Accumulated game currency allows players to improve the runners attributes, and become more competitive. As monsters are beaten, they can be turned and their attributes used; there are crew members that can be recruited as well, and help the runner. There is a definite arcade feel to game; the match 3 portions gives bonuses for matches bigger than 3, and there are several special tiles that make an appearance. there are also tasks, which, when completed, generally open up something valuable to the player.

When one really gets going, the whole experience is a challenging collection of gesture flurries and darting eyes.

The game demands multi-tasking. Since the running action is taking place right above the matching grid, one should probably avoid the temptation to ignore the running action and focus solely on matching; this can have negative consequences, as one might need to find a special match set to get past the opponent at hand. As one progresses in the game, it gets tougher to put it down.

It’s a simple looking game, and that definitely increases its allure. As a game that combines elements, it manages to not get too convoluted, and makes for a fun game that can be appreciated across generations.

10000000 Review

10000000 Review

May 31, 2013

“And lo, the hero’s adventure did come to an end because he couldn’t unlock the chest in time.”

This is something that does happen in 10000000, the indie match-3 RPG from EightyEight Games (aka Luca Redwood) that has been brought to Android. Sometimes it’s not the enemies that fell the player, it’s the inability to get the keys to unlock doors and chests, leading to one’s doom. Wait, why?

Well, in the world of 10000000, players exist on a horizontal scale where they need to keep moving, and anything that slows them down or keeps them from advancing it a threat. Sure, the enemies are greater threats because they’ll actually knock the player back, stopping them on their quest to get ten million points and free the protagonist from his mysterious imprisonment.

The game is a match-3 puzzler at its core, but it uses a slightly different mechanic where players slide around entire rows and columns in order to make matches. Now, each match has a certain effect, whether it be to deliver attacks on enemies, unlock chests, or add items to the inventory.

10000000-4

Where the challenge starts to come in is that players need to make specific matches at specific times in order to do what they need to. Thus, the context of battles changes the complexion of the board. What at one second is a favorable layout suddenly becomes a nightmare. It really brings a layer of depth to the matching that similar puzzle-RPGs don’t have, because each match has a particular response, and sometimes those responses aren’t adequate for the situation at hand. It’s ingenious.

The upgrade system where players get stronger by spending gold and resources not only adds a layer of customization, it also adds a tantalizing layer to the matching game: is it worth collecting resources with this available match, or to make this combat match? Yes, I’m in a fight with an enemy, but these resources could mean the difference between an upgrade for the next game and not. Since the goal is not to get high scores, but to get the high score of ten million points, maybe that’s the better play. This game is far more layered than a match-3 deserves to be.

There are a few drawbacks to the overall experience. Visually, the game is a wee bit ugly, and that icon is almost endearing at this point. The controls on a 7″ screen are fine, but it does require using the index finger as a pointer. I kinda like this better on a phone. The sliding rows and columns makes finding that next match often a bit more difficult than it needs to be.

10000000 isn’t perfect, but as a match-3 game that truly integrates its match-3 gameplay into its experience, versus using it just as one way to skin a cat like with Puzzle Quest (not that it’s a bad thing), it’s brilliant and can be quite the addictive little game.