Posts Tagged match-3
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Scurvy Scallywags by Beep Games, is a match-3 puzzler with tons of piratical humor. As players complete levels, they level up their pirates, dress them up in funny costumes, build ships, and choose special abilities, moves, and weapons to give them an edge in combat.
Beep Games is running a sale for Scurvy Scallywags for a limited time. You can pick it up in the App Store for free!
Those familiar with mobile gaming will be incredibly famililar with the premise of Farm Hero Saga. Swap the squares to form a row of three or more and remove the tiles to earn points, hopefully beginning a cataclysmic chain reaction of destruction. Farm Heroes Saga exists in a world that begins on a small farm but gradually expands to include ice cover fjords, African savannahas, and fantastical locales such as prehistoric jungles and, finally, a hidden temple. This is all hours, if not weeks, of play time away though as just taking the time to scroll through the map seems to take an eternity. This quick walkthrough will help you grasp the basics in order to make Farm Heroes Saga the go to game on the subway or in the waiting room for months to come.
The first few levels are a walk in the park, so to speak, and the myriad of rudimentary tutorials will probably frustrate seasond veterans of the genre. Getting three stars on a puzzle is really the goal to these kinds of games and this can be done by completing it with enough moves remaining to knock out as many tiles are required for each star “level”. In “Hero Mode”, after the objective is completed, tiles randomly get bonuses and long chain reactions are seemingly easier to come across which allows for major points and a satisfying feeling after solving a tricky puzzle. It should go without saying, but you want to complete the puzzle as efficiently as possible because some are hard enough to solve with the alotted moves let alone when considering how many leftovers are there.
The main way to get ahead is either matching four or five tiles in a row or by causing chain reactions. Because the game is not timed, take your time and look for potential fours or fives and pay special attention to the consequences of your move. Getting four in a row adds additional points to surrounding tiles which means that that apple with a +2 button on it now counts for 3 apples if it is matched out. Matching 5 in a row causes every similar tile to be removed from the board which can become incredibly powerful. However, it is rare that this happens by accident so be on the lookout to set up possible 5s. There are other combinations that give out bonuses such as completing a corner of 3×3 and creating two 3s with one move.
It is tempting at first to add moves to a tough puzzle with in-game currency but be warned it is a predictably slippery slope. I perfer to ignore it for the most part, but luckily the boosters repopulate over a lengthy time period so they can be incredibly effective if used correctly. For those playing in long stretches or multiple times a day, the long reload time will almost make it seem like they don’t really exist. It is also slightly annoying that the game puts a strange arbitrary “heart” limit on length of gameplay, but this is easily avoided by not quitting or restarting games, as every time a level isn’t played to the end, you lose a heart which slowly regenerates over five minutes or so.
What you will find as the game progresses is the inclusion of special tiles that quickly become a major pain to remove from the field.
The first of these is the flower tile which cannot be moved and needs 3 separate matches to be made in a non-diagional adjacent square. These, frustratingly, are usually placed in hard to reach spots generally around empty squares which limit the avenues for attack. The challenge comes from removing “dead zones” of unrelated tiles that inevitably stagnate around these cute little flowers. Levels will usually have you collect 5 or 6 of these and the best strategy is to try to get matches that hit more than one flower at a time. The shovel booster sometimes comes in handy late in a game with these.
The second is even more devilish than the first as it comes in two steps. First the player has to match three or more eggs in a row to form a little hatching chick and after further combining three of these hatchling chicks, you are finally rewarded with just one little bird. Matches over 3 do not count for anything extra, and no bonuses are given. The best method of attack for this is to not worry about getting the other fruits in the objective because the volume is usually fairly low and usually “accidentially” obtained by focusing on the eggs.
I will stop there as not to spoil anything else. By now, I am sure that you have a good head start to truly become a Farm Heroes Saga master, which is a title that will surely make every one of your friends jealous.
Following on from Frozen Free Fall, Disney has released Maleficent Free Fall: a free-to-play match-three puzzle game inspired by the film of the same name. Using Maleficent’s magic, players can instantly vanish gemstones and rearrange the board with Maleficent’s raven, Diaval. As players conquer each puzzle, mysterious surprises may arise along the way.
Maleficent Free Fall is available now for free.
Candy Crush Saga meets X-Com meets Game of Thrones? It’s an impressive mix of genres and ideas, and it forms the basis for a new title called Pocket Titans. A turn based RPG puzzle adventure game, Pocket Titans certainly sounds pretty exciting. Its origins are quite something too, having been conceived by veteran developers, John Payne & Ian Pestridge. Between them, they’ve worked on a number of console releases, including Herdy Gerdy, In Cold Blood, SEGA Rally, Reservoir Dogs, and Dead to Rights: Retribution.
For the past 18 months, the pair have been working on Pocket Titans in their spare time, all in the name of flexing their creative muscles. With the game set for release soon, we took the time to find out more.
148apps: Where did the inspiration for Pocket Titans come from?
John Payne (JP): There were a few different strands of inspiration which led to Pocket Titans. I’ve always been a fan of RPG fighting mechanics like the semi-turn-based Final Fantasy battles, or the group dynamics of big World of Warcraft boss fights. My original idea was to do a game which was a series of these massive fight moments without the RPG story and running around in between. Then I got in to Zoo Keeper on my iPhone (entirely my wife’s fault), and I mean really in to it, in a way I’d not really experienced with match 3 games before. The game play felt really tactile, and moving through levels with just a little bit of story felt right. I’d always been a fan of the old X-COM games (not knowing at the time that there was a brilliant new one coming out that year!) and games like Advance Wars, and those three strands came together to form the idea for Pocket Titans. It’s the class based RPG battles of World of Warcraft, the tactile movement and easy pick-up play of a match 3 and the tactical positioning of X-COM.
Ian Pestridge (IP): I’m a huge fan of all things fantasy, I was raised on [Ray] Harryhausen and the ‘greats’ of the 80′s. I spent most of my youth playing Fighting Fantasy, D&D, AD&D and some of my favourite fantasy authors are [David] Gemmell, [Terry] Pratchett & Robin Hobb… oh and [J.R.R] Tolkien which goes without saying. So much of the inspiration for the visual is a distillation of those influences through the lens of my own styling.
As John says the game condenses many of the elements associated with RPGs and has been developed to be very accessible. I took recognisable fantasy motifs and caricatured them, resulting in a look that ‘feels’ familiar and yet ‘looks’ unique and full of spirit.
148apps: How difficult has it been to find the spare time to create Pocket Titans?
IP: The short answer is not very difficult at all. We believe that if you had fun making a game it shows through. The players can sense that freedom and enjoyment. So we promised ourselves that we would focus on having fun and avoiding stress.
JP: The great thing about a home project is you can park it for as long as you need to when life gets in the way. During development there were weeks when I didn’t really do anything on the game, and weeks where I’d do an hour or two most nights, it fitted in around everything else. I set myself a rule very early on that I’d never let it distract me from my day job and in the end the whole process was fun and relaxing. The game’s been 99% finished for quite a while so its certainly the most relaxed end to a project I’ve ever had!
IP: We both have similar family situations and day jobs. I’ve generally been using the couple of hours I’d usually spend watching TV or a movie after the kids have gone to bed to jump on the PC and create some artwork. Ultimately, we enjoy making games, so this has been a great experience.
148apps: What challenges have you faced during the production?
JP: Early on in development it became clear I wasn’t going to be able to do it by myself, especially when I realised quite how bad my programmer-art was. At that point I almost gave up on the project and probably would have if I hadn’t shown it to Ian.
IP: I loved the game from the moment I saw John’s early prototype. The greatest challenge was translating the aesthetics of the world we both imagined onto the moving tile mechanic, it’s that challenge that first attracted me to John’s concept and has kept it so interesting.
148apps: How different is it working on a personal project rather than as part of a big studio?
JP: I’ve been lucky enough to work with lots of talented and creative people in my day job and I love every minute of it. That said, creating Pocket Titans has given us a chance to do something that’s just ours, without any other stakeholders or any outside direction. It was great fun to make but also a little bit terrifying now people are playing it other than our friends!
148apps: Will there be any micro-transactions within the game?
JP: The best way to play the game is to work through story mode looting weapons and armour from the Orcs and Skeletons you defeat. But we’ve also got multi-player battles in there and if people want to tool up to level things out with their friends we’re not going to stop them. You can use gold you collect during quests to grab any items you’re missing and if you really want to make things easy you can buy a bit of gold, but we hope people play through the whole story as there’s some amazing battles at the end that you don’t want to miss!
Thanks to John and Ian for taking the time to answer our questions.
Pocket Titans is set for release later this month. We’ll be sure to track its development. In the mean time, why not check out the beta trailer below? It’s looking pretty sweet.