A match-three game with a few tricks up it’s sleeve.
The Treasures of Montezuma 2, from Alawar Games and HeroCraft, is available for mobile devices and was played for this review on a Blackberry Bold 9700.
Match-three games are ten-a-penny now and can be found on pretty much any device you would care to mention and as more and more of these games are released, they need to find new and interesting twists on this well-used formula in order to stand out. Whilst sometimes these twists can result in games of ungainly complexity, other times real gems can be found that actually take the genre further.
The Treasures of Montezuma 2 has taken the relatively safe route of tweaking the gameplay just enough so as to keep it fresh, whilst maintaining a game that will be instantly recognisable as match-three and can be played without any lengthy tutorials by any fan of the genre. The gameplay itself is unchanged and revolves around moving different coloured and shaped rocks into sets of three or more in order to make them disappear. No surprises there then.
But what makes the game interesting is the addition of gems embedded within some of the rocks. These are the main focus of the game and a board is not completed until the given number of these gems have been collected. Adding to the fun are various special rocks and the colour-based totems that are unlocked throughout the game by purchasing buildings within an ancient city. The totems will have an affect once three or more rocks of a matching colour are removed, whereas the special stones will appear within the game board and be activated once matched and removed. These rocks can have various effects such as exploding surrounding rocks or even turning back the game clock.
Which is quite handy as the game has an online leaderboard so that the player can compare the time taken to complete the levels. The adventure mode contains plenty of levels to keep the player busy for even the longest bus journey, especially considering the three difficulty levels to work through. But the match-three gaming doesn’t end there. The Treasures of Montezuma also has a Survival mode and a Puzzle mode.
Other important factors to note are that the game saves whenever the player quits and allows players to continue mid-game rather than have to start a particular level again (which is incredibly handy in survival mode which can last for hours). Players are able to upload their scores to an online leaderboard for comparison with their friends, and sync their progress through the game.
As far as the controls are concerned, I couldn’t be happier. On my BlackBerry, it is just a simple matter of selecting the stone I wish to move and then sliding in the direction I want it to go in. Really, the game is perfectly suited to the BlackBerry. I did notice some slow down when things got hectic on-screen, but otherwise everything ran smoothly.
The BlackBerry has long been short of decent games and finding something to play whilst out and about is limited to a mere handful of titles. However, Treasures of Montezuma 2 has added to that handful, offering good, solid gameplay that is easy to pick up and get involved in, then resume at a later date. The game doesn’t really break the mould, but it does what it does really well. If you need match-3 on the go, you could do far worse than Treasures of Montezuma 2.
Treasures of Montezuma 2 is available for most mobile devices and is available on the HeroCraft website.