App review: 10000000
- — 24 September, 2012 22:00
|Summary:||A dungeon crawler that's fast and furious|
|RRP:||$2.59 (iPad, iPhone)|
10000000 is like a cross between Boulder Dash and Bejeweled, combining the best elements of both into a fast paced, frenetic and tense game that is also cute and slightly retro in feel.
The idea is you run through a long dungeon, and as you progress, you run into obstacles: chests, monsters and doors. You need to clear these obstacles, by unlocking (chests, doors) or defeating (monsters) them. The way you do each of these tasks is by matching items in a Bejeweled-like grid beneath the dungeon.
For example, if you run into a chest that needs to be opened, it has two locks, and for each lock you have to match three or more keys in a row. For a monster, you can match staves to attack it with magic, or swords to attack it by hand.
You can move any row either left or right, and move any column either up or down - they all move in a cycle, so that as you move an object off one side, it reappears at the opposite edge.
Each time you run into an obstacle, you slowly inch towards the left-hand side of the screen, and if you are pushed to the edge before you remove the obstacle, you have to start over.
While the basics are simple, it's the additions and details that make 10000000 a joy to play.
For starters, the whole thing is rendered in glorious 8-bit graphics and 8-bit sounds. Your character is a stick-figure, essentially, but the retro feel amplifies the experience.
And then there's the bonuses. For example, good combo moves - five in a row, one-shot killing a monster and the like - generate items. These items are stored in a grid at the top of the screen for you to use. I found it very handy to have a boulder handy to drop on the tough-to-beat dragon, and a few spare keys help you unlock chests or doors rapidly to keep your character near the right hand side of the screen, where you have the best chance of survival. If your character starts slipping to the left-hand edge, eating some food - you can win yourself cheese, bread and ham - will nudge you over to the right a little way, buying you extra time.
And there's also a kind of levelling up system. As well as matching sets of keys, staves and swords, you can also match wood, stone, or shields. Each run through the dungeon has a set of objectives, some silly and some serious. you might be tasked with eating something at the very last moment before you get pushed off-screen, for example. Or to rack up 4,000,000 points. If you meet these objectives, you score gold and diamonds as rewards.
What use are wood, stone, gold and diamonds? Glad you asked!
At the start of the game, you're in your bed in a three level prison. There are five barred doors, and the extrance to the dungeon (as well as a little sign saying Freedom = 100000000). The wood and stone buy you access to each of the barred rooms. Within, there is training in several areas that can benefit your character and help them escape the dungeon. Diamonds buy you certain experience bonuses in one of those rooms, while gold buys you power ups in the other rooms. An armory provides better quality items with bonuses to defend against and slow monsters. The items also have cute names - who wouldn't want unstoppable adamantium armour? One room is entirely devoted to potions that grant a benefit at the cost of reduced skills in another area. So you can have extra gold, but do less damage, for example.
You may be wondering about the shields - these buy you defensive protection while you run through the dungeon. Getting beaten up? Match some shields and buy a bit of protection.
Last but not least, there's a wildcard star that can match as a third item with any two items of the same type - this can be a lifesaver!
What I found excellent about 10000000 is how fast-paced it is. You can see and feel time running out, which adds to the tension, and you have to madly match patterns to win. And yet, there are benefits in slowing down, watching what's next up and ensuring that you keep a match (or some food) in wait for the next obstacle. Building up a few big matches can get you items that are handy, so there's a little bit of strategy as well as frantic matching.
It took me four hours all up to finish and escape the dungeon, at which point I unlocked 'endless mode'. It was an immensely fun four hours, and I highly recommend 100000000.