Jul 23, 2014
What does one get when you cross the King of the Monsters with a match-3 game? A pretty good game, actually.
When it comes to Godzilla, the first thing to come to mind is probably not a puzzle game. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Rogue Play, Inc. has come up with as the free-to-play tie-in to the 2014 summer Godzilla movie.
In Godzilla – Smash3, players more or less adopt the role of Godzilla himself (off to the sideline, Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as he emerges from the murky depths of the Pacific and makes his way towards land to lay the king of all smackdowns as only he can. Players will instead target different enemies, which range from the various units of military resistance to larger battles against other monsters, and rather than control Godzilla directly, the key is to draw a continuous line between as many colored icons on the bottom portion of the screen as possible. When that’s done, Godzilla then beats the selected target(s) as appropriate at the top of the screen.
Of course, there is some nuance to it, and options grow as the game progresses. The key element are the blue, yellow, and orange icons, which range from the weakest attacks to the strongest, respectively, and as one might expect, blue icons are far more commonplace and tend to be easier to link than yellow and especially orange. Fortunately, players can take their time figuring out the best way to line things up, and once they do, the selected icons are cleared from the screen, dropping in more as Godzilla claws, bites, and otherwise shows those silly humans who is boss.
Other options come up along the way, including heart icons which allow Godzilla to regenerate health between rounds, special blue icons which help to charge up an attack with Godzilla’s signature atomic breath, and “explosive” icons, which clear away columns and rows of icons when included in a selected line. This results in an added layer of strategy, as players must choose which icons to focus on at which time, rather than just whatever is easiest or seemingly the most powerful at a given moment.
One definite plus for Godzilla – Smash3 is that it looks and sounds great. The music and roars immediately evoke the proper mood and tone one would expect from one of his many films. Meanwhile, Godzilla himself looks awesome. The developers seemingly knew what the player was more likely to be focusing on, and made sure the visuals counted where they were most important. Some of the other enemies and backgrounds may not look quite as good, but they do the job well enough should one take their eyes off the big guy for a moment.
If there’s one grievance I can point out with this free-to-play game, it’s one aspect of the leveling system. As players progress, they earn points to level up different icons to do more damage, etc. Unfortunately, it’s possible to sink those points into an area that can’t be used until a certain level is reached; one would think this is where the “reset” option for getting those points back and reallocating them would be handy, but to use it costs 99 cents a pop. That’s just cheap, and I don’t mean the price.
The game isn’t especially deep, but then, aside from serving as a warning against using/abusing nuclear energy, the movies aren’t terribly deep, either. And just as one can sit back and enjoy a classic Godzilla movie for the giant monster carnage it provides on screen, so too does Godzilla – Smash3 provide a similar pleasure as much of the joy can be derived from sitting back and watching Godzilla tear it up after performing a successful chain combo, only to do it again and again over the course of his journey.