Around the World in 80 Days
Take the journey!
This is an older Match 3, but it still holds its own. The graphics are quite nice, and the story of Phileas Fogg and his man servant Passepartout holds to the story well enough.
This is assuredly more a thinky than clicky Match 3. This game does not allow turns while cascading matches complete, but it is best to take the time to plan your next move anyway. There is a timer, and you will lose a life for not finishing a board, but it is very generous until you get through at least 2/3s of the game. By the time it gets really tough -- and it does -- you will have enough lives to complete the game.
Power ups do not carry over from board to board. Rather your one power up increases in strength from hammer to super bomb as you make matches. Each chapter consists of collecting 10 artifacts which are broken to pieces on the board. The pieces must be worked down and off the board as you play. After you collect all ten artifacts, there is a bonus round to collect the country's stamp.
You can continue traveling endlessly around the world. Each 80 day journey will get a bit more challenging. I haven't played it in a while, but opened it just now to see if it still played. I was on day 77, journey eight, so you mustn't let the game defeat you. There are only a few boards that will beat you on the first try. For others there is a definite strategy -- figuring that out, using your power ups, and working the matches is very much part of the enjoyment of this game.
If you are on a Mac, I would suggest not installing the screensaver -- I think the last apple animal it got along with was the tiger.
January 13, 2012
It only looks simple...
Pros: "puzzle" concept, good storyline, soundtrack, and backgrounds, can be played forever
Cons: timed only, gets very difficult, slower play action
Around the World in 80 days isn't your run of the mill M3. Although the game at first glance appears to just be a swap M3, the goal of most of the boards is to obtain all the fragments of an object by making them reach the bottom of the board (by using swap M3 moves of the colored tiles). The 81 levels start out very easy, but by the halfway point players will really have to think it out in order to clear the obstacles and/or manipulate the fragments carefully to solve the boards. A hammer powerup charges up for M4s and can be upgraded to other types of powerups with increased matches. Using the powerups wisely is also an essential part of the strategy in the later portions of the game. At the end of each stage, there is one board which is played in the more traditional M3 vein of clearing all the spaces.
The storyline is very well done and is displayed in cutscenes and journal pages in between boards, with clicking to advance the text dialogues. There are interesting little tidbits thrown in, such as the clock in the main screen displaying the actual time, and fun facts about the objects being collected in the boards. The game backgrounds are visually appealing, and the soundtrack soothing with appropriate changes through different world regions. Only the colored tiles in the boards appear somewhat uninspired.
It's timed only, and gave me a run for my money on several of the later boards...not many M3s make me run out of time that often! Players must also wait for the tiles to stop falling before they can make another move, which I normally don't mind, but the refilling action is a bit on the slow side here.
Once the 81 boards are completed, the story ends, but the game starts over on another iteration of the journey and the whole thing can be repeated indefinitely. I've only gotten all the way through once as of this writing, but it's my understanding that the obstacles continue to get more cunning with higher repeats. I recommend this game, but only if you like challenging puzzle solving.
April 29, 2012
A Bit of a Challenge
The challenge comes during the later levels. In fact, the last level had me in tears of frustration -laughs-. Inspired by the novel of the same name so the storyline is a bit predictable but doesn't stop the game play from being enjoyable.
January 22, 2012
Too bad it has a timer
I played the trial and read the reviews which all liked it. Guess I am the only one that cannot beat the clock. I knew it had the timer but on the trial I got through them. After you get so far in the game it gets really hard and I could not finish it and lost my lives. I would love to be able to play the game all the way through but with the timer I can't. I wish BF would get in touch with the developers and have them put in the timer and relax mode. Theres a lot of us people out here (elderly) that don't think as fast or move the mouse as fast as the younger ones. So if you can't beat the clock, don't buy it.
April 21, 2012
I really loved this game until I got to the Japan level. It has become too challenging for me at this level, and each time I get killed off, I have to start the level all over again. It's particularly frustrating, because I can often get to one of the advanced puzzles in that level, yet still have to start the whole level over again instead of just that one puzzle. There should be a way to just repeat the one puzzle instead of the whole level, and/or have more lives available at the start of the harder levels, and/or a work-around to move ahead despite not being able to get the puzzle done. As I said, until I got to this level, I really loved the game, and following the story, but now I'm getting carpal tunnel without advancing in the game. Ugh. :-(
September 30, 2014
I finished Journey 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a great match 3 game with puzzle pieces to drop to the bottom to complete the levels, of which there are 81 in the main game. It also has a timer. Ugh! This was a STRUGGLE but the game was compelling and after several strenuous and stressful tries (plus some help from Playrix) I was able to complete the game. Actually, Journey 1, because when you finish the game offers the option of additional journeys with "increasing difficulty." This was hard enough on the first journey. But I'm going to recommend the game for those of you who don't mind timers and can work quickly. The story is a really fun adaptation of the novel. So enjoy if you enjoy a timed game.
October 29, 2013
A charming little Playrix game
This game has all the things which usually annoy me in a match 3: the whole game consists of dropping objects off the game board, you have to wait while tiles finish cascading before you can make another move, and the game board is not very big. But Playrix have overcome my prejudices.
All their games are visually delightful and usually just about my level of difficulty - their Fishdom and Gardenscapes series have long been some of my all time favourites, so thanks again Playrix and Big Fish!
July 20, 2013
fun for awhile then you feel like an idiot
When you start out, this game is absolutely fun. Great graphics, nice story line and fun match-3 dropping elements to bottom of board collecting items to progress in your journey. When you get totally immersed into the game half-way through, specifically China, it just is downright too hard. You have no other option to complete the game, so you just try over and over and over again getting the same results. My definition of an idiot. Maybe some have succeeded, and if you think you can be one of them, go for it. But be warned it is not easy with that timer ticking AND scarce power ups. I only recommend it to an expert M3 player.
March 11, 2014
An very frustrating game
I really liked this game in the beginning. However for the last 4 days of the 80-day trip, it was impossible to finish. The difficulty is that the blocks can't be moved while other blocks are falling and the game is making its ambient noise, mostly whooshing. Consequently, you sit there watching and waiting while the clock is ticking. I tried five times to get to the end from day 76. After losing all my lives several times and having to repeat the whole section again (about 8 days not just the one day), I finally dumped the game.
February 19, 2014
If your looking for a nice relax, somewhat challenging game, this is the game for you. I didn't like the fact that I couldn't blow up the rocks, but over all an OK game.
March 29, 2012