Despite some imbalances around in-app purchasing, this iPad game somehow makes it all work.
To date, one of the greatest iPad experiences of my life has been EightyEight Games 10000000. It was and still is a perfect blend of Match 3 play mechanics, RPG-like attribute improvements, and running. Oh, the running. I played it for hours.
So, when I stumbled across Mana Giants' Wizard Quest earlier this week, and read about its blend of Match 3 combat, weapons crafting, and RPG-style elements, I couldn't resist. And I'm happy to report that, for the most part, it delivers on this promise.
The core premise of the Match 3 mechanics is that the materials you are matching generate spells and spell power for your Mage.
The threat vectors are fairly simple. You periodically encounter monsters who you must fight off by matching spells, each of which have specific effects. Different monsters have different strengths and weaknesses. There are a lot of monsters in this game, with all manner of vulnerabilities and invulnerabilities.
The other threat - which is more menacing than the monsters upon occasion - is that any tiles left unmatched by the time they reach the bottom of the screen reduce your hit point total.
As you move through the game, you unlock new missions, and all kinds of loot, which you can use to enhance your mage's offensive and defensive powers.
There is a surprising amount of content in Wizard Quest - it's shockingly deep. My only real complaint is that right now, there's a little too much hustle around the in-app purchasing, with some unlockable content costing upwards of $8. Some gamers have also expressed resentment that you need to buy certain upgrades to win certain levels.
We're not talking Dungeon Keeper levels of gaming angst, thankfully, and the developers are playing an active role in monitoring these comments and appear committed to continuously adjusting the design. For what it's worth, I didn't experience nearly as much frustration as other people did.
Other selected iPad games at TabTimes.com/ipad-game
Other tablet games I'm playing
1. QuizUp: A new tablet-optimized version of the quiz game that is still setting the world on fire.
2. Elisa Infinity: a mesmerizing puzzle game where you fuse planets together.
3. Spell Quest: Grimm's Journey: A spelling-game version of Wizard Quest.
4. Flappy Bird: DON'T JUDGE ME. (It is actually a little easier to play on the iPad.)
5. Dead Trigger 2: A recent update added an interesting new feature - the ability to share video captures of your game with your friends, provided you have an iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, or an iPhone 5, 5S, or 5C.
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