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 lifesource 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.