thu 19/09/2019

You Must Build A Boat | reviews, news & interviews

You Must Build A Boat

You Must Build A Boat

A match-3 puzzle with real depth

'You Must Build A Boat': like Candy Crush, only not...

I’ve been trying to imagine the elevator pitch for EightyEight Games’ fine new puzzler, You Must Build A Boat. The best, most succinct description I can come up with is: “imagine if Candy Crush was any good.”

You Must Build A Boat is the sequel to 2012’s 10000000. In that game, a little pixelly dude ran across a dungeon corridor at the top of the screen, trying to retrieve treasures without being defeated by monsters. You helped him out by playing a match-3 sliding block puzzle at the bottom of the screen so he could beat the monsters, unlock chests and escape the dungeon by reaching the magic 10,000,000 points.

You must build a.. oh. Never mind.10000000 was a fun game but one you had to learn on the job. There was little handholding and the mechanics only revealed themselves through trial and error. That 10,000,000 score seemed almost impossible at the start and it was only through earning many boosts and score multipliers that you began to see how it could be achieved.

You Must Build A Boat takes the basic gameplay of 10000000 and opens it out into a more rounded, welcoming experience. The core mechanic is still the same – you fight monsters by matching either sword or staff tiles in rows of three or more to attack with blade or magic respectively. Chests can be unlocked by matching key tiles (tougher chests require more keys) and you can also match other tiles that represent useful resources.

Where 10000000 just kept you locked in the same endless dungeon corridor, You Must... gives you a floating headquarters that you sail down a long river, stopping at various points to delve into an environmentally themed dungeon.

At each stop you are assigned several quests that range from "Match 50 sword tiles" to delves where you must find certain artefacts that are hidden in crates. Completing these quests can unlock characters who will upgrade your weapons, brew magic potions, fence your treasure or train monsters to help you in return for a fee or some of the resources you have gathered.

Every time a new character joins your crew, you need more space than your current vessel can provide and, well... You Must Build A Boat.

You must read a mapSimilar upgrade options existed in the earlier 10000000 but linking that to quirky characters with their own unique design somehow makes the process seem like less of a grind. The same is true for the whole game, really. 10000000 was addictive but at times it felt like you were chugging through its later stages because by that point you simply had to finish it. You Must... feels friendlier and more engaging. It is still a grind of the most basic kind but its charm shines through.

The combination of simple but challenging gameplay, the many upgrade paths on offer and the sense of completing a journey in an ever-growing boat proves fiendishly addictive. It achieves this with no in-app purchases and no time limits – just a small fee for the game in return for hours of fun.

A run through a dungeon will usually take a few minutes depending on your skill, making it perfect for snacking while on the bus or as a quick distraction at work. But the one-more-go factor is so strong the snack can easily turn into a binge. You MUST Build A Boat.

Stuart Houghton on Twitter

 

The one-more-go factor is so strong the snack can easily turn into a binge

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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