Posted: December 20
The combination of RPG mechanics and puzzle game is an oddly rare thing, even though RPGs have classically designed their combat systems in the vein of puzzles. Only a game like 10,000,000 really tries to do the same thing.
Still, compared to a game like 10,000,000, it's a little more forgiving, colorful, and generally fun.
The game plays on a split screen. You need to fill up your little power jars by matching blocks in a match-three game similar to Bejewelled. (However, you can make swaps that are not matches. You just get a power bonus if you keep chains of consecutive matches going.) When you need to launch an attack, you tap the top half of the screen, and can start tapping your elemental buddies to have them throw down attacks and heals and shields. Otherwise, you keep your head down in the gems you need to match as rapidly as possible. At least for me, I'm often so focused on making a big chain I totally forget to look up and realize the heroine has stopped walking, and there's a monster about to eat her face...
It sometimes gets a little hectic, especially against the optional bosses, where you're setting up some big chain you think will help you and in the last two seconds, you took half a dozen attacks that just quartered your health bar, but if things go that fast, you're probably fighting something out of your league, anyway...
The RPG mechanics are quite interesting, as well. Special piece rewards for good times in a mission (go back to a difficult one with more powerups if you need more power to score a perfect run) are spent instead of gaining XP. You get offered a path of specializing in elements or going for a broad generalist path with a few special bonuses.
All-in-all, it's a fun game for someone who enjoys the occasional puzzle game, RPGs, and has the ability to multitask a bit, and I'd recommend it to anyone who lies upon the intersecction of those three pools.