Version Reviewed: 1.0.1617
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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My relationship with EightyEight Games's output is a little mixed. When I first heard about 10000000, I immediately downloaded it but quickly found myself overwhelmed with the way it played. I felt too slow and had a hard time wrapping my mind around its sliding puzzles. I could absolutely appreciate the craft of it, from its Atari-inspired look to its unique twist on match-three mechanics, but I didn't stick with it for very long. With that in mind, I wasn't exactly thrilled to seeYou Must Build A Boatwas essentially a follow-up to 10000000.
Even so I'm really, really enjoyingYou Must Build A Boat. It does a great job of taking what was so good about 10000000 and refining it into a more accessible experience - doing so basically without having to compromise much of anything. The result is an extremely polished experience that satisfies both fans of the original and twerps like me that couldn't get into it.
For those familiar with 10000000, You Must Build A Boat should feel almost like the same game. It's still a match-three game that asks players to slide entire rows and columns in order to make matches. While all of this is going on the protagonist is moving along the top part of the screen, fighting enemies, disarming traps, and unlocking chests depending on the situation. The longer it takes players to match the right objects the further the hero slips toward the left side of the screen, until eventually the run is ended. The whole experience feels pretty frenetic and fun, though a little overwhelming.
There are also a lot of little quests and collectibles that players can focus on. As opposed to 10000000, You Must Build A Boat allows them to choose the number of quests they'd like to pursue on a given run. While selecting multiple quests each time may allow greater chances to accomplish something on a run, the addition of each quest also increases the difficulty and can introduce modifiers that make things a bit trickier.
Instead of repairing a castle, You Must Build A Boat focuses on having players build a bigger and bigger boat that can take the hero further up a winding river. As the boat expands companions join the crew, some of which can add passive bonuses to player stats while others can upgrade the effectiveness of particular match blocks like the sword, wand, or shield.
You Must Build A Boat is an updated version of 10000000, but there are a lot of small, detailed changes that add up to make it feel significantly different. Things like being able to make matches as blocks continue to fall, a smaller game board, and fewer blocks to match make the experience more manageable while still capturing and capitalizing on what makes the core gameplay continue to feel unique and awesome. Simply put, it's hard to imagine a better iteration of10000000 than You Must Build A Boat. It's very much the same kind of game, but it's such an upgrade it makes 10000000feel older than it actually is.