A New Twist on the Match Three genre
Basically an M3 game, but with a new twist, in that you can make a very long chain of matches while going in three directions - vertically, diagonally, or horizontally.
Sometimes you are matching types of animals - monkeys to monkeys, or hedgehogs to hedgehogs - or sometimes, you are matching animals to their food chain, such as mountain lion to deer to grass, or fox to bunny to insects. In the food chain matching games, you always begin with highest animal on the food chain, and work your way down. In the animal matching games, you make the longest chains possible.
In the animal matching games, match three or more to make a chain, and get big bonuses for making a chain that captures every animal of that kind, say, for instance, all the monkeys on the board. You can also earn bonuses by positioning two of the same kind of animal in random gold pop-up boxes that appear.
Various hazards will appear randomly, but the remedy for each hazard becomes available by dropping the appropriate icon to the bottom of the board where it will automatically be added to your backpack for future use. Within the one hour trial period, I ended up with a generous stack of remedies accumulated in my backpack, although there were a few times it appeared that my game play might get blocked by one of the hazards. Eventually, I had way more remedies than there were hazards, and I learned to be sure I was paying attention to accumulating remedies.
Another interesting twist to this match three game is that there are some interesting mini games interspersed throughout the matching games. Within the one hour trial period, there were two mini game variations - although there may be more if I had gone further in the game. The first one was a bunch a cute spiders hanging from a tree, and you shoot them down with a little cannon before they can reach the ground. The second version was that you quickly click on every animal on the board and try to cover every single square before time runs out. The mini games award extra points, and seem to be there more as a break from regular game play.
I wasn't expecting to like this game much, as it initially seemed rather simplistic, but it surprised me. The hour demo seemed to fly by, and now I've marked it to DEFINITELY buy it the next time I make an online purchase.
One other note - I almost didn't even play the game at all after loading it, because when it opened up on my desktop, it was in a minimized - not full screen - size. I tried adjusting my screen resolution, but that didn't fix it. I have poor eyesight, so playing a game that takes up less than half the screen doesn't usually work out for me, but since it was already loaded to my games, I decided to give it a try. The match three boards on the screen are graphically precise and colorful, and the size of the game on my desktop did not impede my ability to play the game at all. In fact, within just a few minutes of beginning to play, I forgot all about the fact that it was not at full screen mode.
Easy game play, appropriate for all ages. Challenging enough to keep you interested, and enough variety thrown in to mix things up a bit and keep it fun. If you like this game, you would probably also like Clutter, Route 66, Jewel Quest Sleepless Star, or Arcanika.
November 7, 2014
Truly original but too difficult for me
Basically a chain match game with differences: your chain can go in any direction, and as well as matching the same creatures there are levels where you make a food chain, e.g. jaguar to bird to fruit, eagle to rabbit to grass, etc. Also a gold box covering two squares keeps appearing and you have to manoeuvre two of the same creature into it. Various things happen to lock tiles, and bonuses to free them need to be dropped off the bottom of the board. Even in the first levels I struggled to get enough bonuses before too many squares were locked. Perhaps it gets easier with practise but I gave up before the trial hour was over and I doubt I will be buying this game - a shame because it has the most original and interesting ideas I've seen for some time.
April 2, 2013