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Dec 15, 2010 | 6:07 AM EST

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Click or drag adjacent gems to swap, making lines of three or more. Keep an eye on the clock! Survival mode lets you regenerate time by making matches, and the attack modes are simple time trials for the most points. The pressure is on!

Reviews


VastRiverVastRiver

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Bejeweled

This is nearly the same with Bejeweled, but well-made. How about creating another attack mode where a player can freely set the length of the game? Just my idea.


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HackstermatrixHackstermatrix

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Get ready to ruin your social life.

Gameplay+2 Music+2 Storyline:N/A
Graphics+1/2 Effort +1/2.

I'd give this 5 out of 4.

Cons: Cheap graphics and animations.
Can cause serious procrastination.

Pros: Nailed the Gameplay.
Nailed the Japanese Retro arcade music.
Nailed the addicting chain reactions.


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WarpZoneWarpZone

Rated 3 / 5 stars

I thought match-3 was h3r01n, not Sp33d!

This is basically the simplest possible Match-3 game with only a single gameplay mode and a high-score-table mentality. So, nothing special. But it does one thing really well, and that's move the game forward.

I suspect it is possible to play the game into such a state that no possible moves exist. I was never able to prove to my own satisfaction that this was the case, but I played several times until I could no longer see any possible moves. The game never flushed the whole board and randomly generated a new one, though, which is the usual way of preventing an unwinnable state.

I've played a couple other match-3 games before, and this frankly isn't my favorite. While the display is rock-solid, the interface leaves something to be desired. The click-and-drag works okay but it somewhat renders moot the speed gains the title suggests the developers were aiming for. You can't just drag the mouse around the screen "discovering" matches, which is how it usually works in the fastest match-3 games.

Also, I dislike games where the only point is to see how long you can last. Tacking on a high-score table does nothing for me. I would rather see more diverse gameplay modes. Maybe let me grind for a little longer before you increase the number of elements on the board. It goes from 3 colors to like 8 colors in about 30 seconds, so you go from the manic euphoria of making extreme combos to the drudgery of picking through the remains looking for 3 of a kind.

I almost suspect everything I've complained about in this review was an intentional design choice on the part of the developer, to force the player into a game over as quickly as possible and make sure everyone's game lasted only a couple of minutes. What I don't understand is why this was considered desirable. This isn't an arcade game, where other people are waiting in line and every time I die I put in another quarter. This is a web-based game. You want long-term gameplay that seems deeper than it is on account of persistence, and gives me a reason to come back and play it again and again. You want goals I can chip away at over time, saved games, maybe even an experience point system that lets me unlock new stuff over time.

I realize resources such as time and expertise were limited on a small project like this one, but I feel like the developers were misguided. Thow in a menu where you can select from a bunch of gameplay modes. Track my score in each of these levels seperately. Track how many matches I've made and what my largest combo is. Make a screen where all of this information is visible to the player. Then, start screwing with the game rules randomly in those different gameplay modes.

Oh, and make a saved game that loads and saves automatically.

It's a little extra work, but once you do it, the depth and long-term appeal of your game will increase by a LOT. And I can guarantee that implementing this stuff won't take nearly as long as polishing your core mechanic the degree that you clearly already have.


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bdjcomic responds:

Thanks for the input! Yeah, a lot of the chocies were to force a sense of pressure (which I was hoping would lend some addictive qualities) but to leave space for a player to, y'know, stop. As far as longer-term tracking of stats, I've given some consideration to going back and adding this, if I feel there is enough demand for it.

As far as the board having no moves left, in survival mode that causes a game over (and your remaining time is given as a time bonus), and in the time attack modes will cause a board reset (in hindsight that might have been spelled out a little clearer.)

I definitely will take this into account going forward though. Thanks again!