“ Genre: Puzzles „
Every so often, you come across a computer game that lives up to its' promise. There are thousands of games that computer users can download and try, though some are disappointing, unchallenging, and frankly not worth the money that the makers ask for them after the trial period. When you find a gem like this one, however, the 12 Pound price ticket really is worth it.
I found the game on Yahoo downloadable games. Simply type into your google "Yahoo Games Magic Match" and you are taken directly to the download page. There are a variety of games available, and compared to others, on first approach, it looks equally banal, though don't let that kid you. You do get a 60 minute free trial period, and because I did not wish to pay for a game that I was unsure would suit me long term, I actually extended the trial period by using the five minutes play that you are allowed after the trial finishes. Five minutes made the world of difference, since that is what it took to step from level to level, until the difficulty took more thought, and buying the game became advantageous. Downloading the game takes a matter of minutes and installation and first approach is very well explained.
What the game is all about.
The idea of the game is to find more than three matching pieces which are adjoining, on a board. When you do, you highlight them with the curser and you score points, by clicking and eliminating them from the game play. Each level lists the number of each kind of piece that you have to find to finish the level. Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it ? Well, it isn't. What I found was that the player is given magical powers, but it isn't just a case of using them to progress. It is a case of choosing when to use them to their best effect. For example, you have rotating coins which count as any piece at all, a magic wand that can be accessed through the realistic looking magic book that opens at the beginning of each level, to change the location of pieces, and a complete reshuffle, accessed again through the book.
Levels get harder and harder, but what the game has done is introduce incentives, and here is where other games lose their substance. This game gives out prizes like a sphere that can change the whole board or ice cubes that entrap pieces and do not allow them to disappear at the first stroke, and also offers the failed player of a level the chance to dual it out with another player in order to move on. There are also bonus levels which are very similar in layout to pac-man, where you have to get all the pieces, avoiding ghosts that roam around the board. I like the lightning pieces, which automatically update the board layout when pressed, and also the strobe which allows you to eliminate certain pieces and really is useful in the higher levels of game play.
What I do like is the colour, artwork and the opening screen that tells you how far you are on your journey, or in fact the level at which you are playing. The graphics are quite outstanding and three dimensional. What I dislike is the silly creature that makes the game look babyish, although believe me, ignoring this, you actually find that the game is suitable for all ages, and the complexity of your game-play dependent upon your use of common sense and logic. Speed is not what matters. Thought is.
This is a weak spot. The kids liked it, but the babyish voice that tells you how you are doing is irritating frankly. However, there is an upside here, because not only does the creature talk to players, but the game can be played equally well without sound, since what he is saying is reiterated in a speech bubble anyway, so there is little need for it. You can switch off the voice, but still have the basic sounds in the background which are musical and not irritating at all.
Game play and suitability for all ages.
What astounded me about this game is the skill required in order to achieve moving to the next level. It's more than just being able to play a game. It is using logical sequence, not repetition, and here the children actually thrived on the game, and I, as an adult of 54, found the game was much deeper and required much more thought than simply gathering bits that were alike. Wrong use of one of the bonus items can actually screw up your play of the whole level. It takes thought. It takes logic, and it makes children think of more than just silly game-play and speed. I am every bit as enthusiastic as the kids are in our quest to get to the higher levels, spurred on by the incentives offered, and the will to want to be skillful enough to finish the game, though it will take months.
This isn't a game to be mocked. It not only caters for serious game-players. It caters for kids that really do not want serious stuff, in that even a child at a young age can achieve getting further into the game, and it's amazing the way in which the mind is encouraged to use logic, and actually gets a lot of excitement about using it. I really do believe that responsible games such as this teach children not only concentration but logical skills.
Mistakes can be costly, as we all learned when first playing the game, and we began to play much more carefully. There are 126 levels, each with increased difficulty.
The game has many facets. There is a very childish songs area which we really did not spend a lot of time on. We found this a waste of space, although young kids may enjoy it.
In the purchased game, what this enabled was Mouse parties, and this really is a clever feature, where two players can play against each other using two mice, one plugged into a spare USB slot. The difficulty of the levels can be set anywhere between simple and difficult. The controls are easily accessible from the opening page, and there is a fun area called The Study where you can learn what each of the pieces that you have gathered are and their history.
This really is a superb game that will suit all ages, and that will give hour upon hour of enjoyment.
Computer requirements :
64 MB RAM
A popular downloadable web game before becoming available in this retail package, Magic Match offers a series of puzzles strung together on a fantasy story line. Puzzles are solved by properly matching items on a game board grid. Accompanied by an imp named Giggles (who provides comic relief as well as helpful hints), players journey from one puzzle board to the next, becoming the main character in a tale of myth and magic as they progress. A duel mode allows two players to compete on the.