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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: Azkend

    Azkend, by MythPeople ($.99)
    • Another puzzle game of matching tiles
    • Entertaining story mode
    • Nice power up pieces

    • Another puzzle game of matching tiles
    • “hidden picture” aspect is lacking

    Azkend is another entry into the “matching tile” puzzle games. In this game, it is a little different. Your goal is to match tiles to turn the game board blue, while progressing through various levels that change the board layout, the tile pieces, and the power pieces. You move through various levels, matching tiles as you go. You have a variety of tile icons, but also things like steel tiles and ice tiles to complicate the matching process. The more you match, the more points you get and the more “lightning” you build up. When you build up enough lightning, lightning strikes and gets rid of some of the tiles. You also have various powerup that perform special functions – add lightning, destroy blocks, that sort of thing. In between the various levels, you have “visions” that you need to identify – you are given a part of a picture and you need to find the location in the larger image (the vision).

    Sounds confusing, I know. It is a little confusing. The game seems to combine a couple elements – the matching tile puzzle game element and the hidden picture game element. The only problem with the hidden picture is that you aren’t really looking for “pictures” – simply parts of the scene that you see (like a tree top, a corner of a house, etc). The matching tile part is fun – you have a time limit to succeed, so you need to work quickly. You can implement a strategy around the tiles, trying to make sure you build up enough power-up tiles to get the bonus you need. One really nice feature is that you can choose your power-up that you have. If you have a favorite, select that one for the puzzles, and just switch around.

    The game seemed a little easy to complete – I went through the complete story mode in about three hours (two days). Depending on how fast you complete each puzzle, you can go back through the story mode to try to improve your score. This means you can replay the story mode and you aren’t just playing the exact same thing. Well, you are playing the same thing, but you have a goal of trying to improve your score.

    There also is a survival mode, where you try to complete as many puzzles as you can in a certain amount of time to collect stars. You can play a survival mode for each of the power-up types, trying to collect the maximum number of stars (you get a star each time a board is cleared – sometimes difficult to do in the allotted time frame). The survival mode is fun and reasonably difficult, although I don’t know how I would actually complete all the boards to get all the stars for any given power-up.

    The game is fun, but it gets a little repetitive. I suppose that could be said for all games in this genre, since you are simply doing the same thing over and over. But the different power-up add some variability to the game, and the two modes of play (plus the ability to replay the story mode) means that you can always play again with a new goal.

    All in all, this is a fun game with some new twists on the tile-puzzle game genre. While not too challenging at times, it can still be enjoyed and played more than once (a key IMO for any puzzle game). The power-ups and the hidden picture features add a nice change of pace to the game. At $.99 (down from$2.99) the price isn’t bad, and there is a free version to try as well. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.

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