If you check my Steam gameplay time stats you might notice that I play a fair amount of ‘match three’ type games. These are the games with the moving tiles, or swapping jewels etc., until you line up three or more that match, and then they disappear, things happen, more tiles/jewels drop in and so forth. They are very casual soft core type games, Bejewelled probably being one of the best known of the genre (if indeed it counts as a genre). I have recently picked up another of these type of games, called 10,000,000 and I thought I would make a short post about why I play such comparatively simple and untaxing games quite a bit. I will say something about 10,000,000 as well.
Some ago I got Lucid on Steam and made a not very good YouTube video review of the Lucid game – that video was more about me testing out recording gameplay with commentary to be honest! I have had Bejewelled 3 for a while and have sunk 35 hours into it since I got it. More recently I watched TotalBiscuit’s WTF is … 10,000,000 and thought it looked interesting, so bought that as it was on a 20% off on launch offer. 7.5 hours of gameplay and less than a week later I have beat it. So yeah, I do play these things a fair bit.
I know this blog is straplined ‘playing on casual’ but I have explained that elsewhere, the reason I play these is that I find them an excellent distraction when I am ill, in pain, tired, on high strength painkillers and so on. Again elsewhere I have explained a bit about my health problems and disability and how computer/video games help when I am badly off with my problems – match three games seem to be like that, but more so. In that when I am very bad, or woozy, in pain etc. and can’t even cope with ‘regular’ games, I can usually spend some mindless time with a match three game. The other thing I can do when I am very ill is watch Let’s Play type videos on YouTube. For some reason both these things seem to work better than reading (or watching TV, which I very rarely do anyway) to distract me and not let my mind dwell on how crap I am feeling at that point. Or if I am being kept awake and am very tired but in too much pain to sleep they work too.
So, onto the latest one of these games I have been playing, 10,000,000. It has retro style ‘8 bit’ graphics – the ‘8 bit’ is in scare quotes as it isn’t really 8 bit but that retro graphics style seems to be being called 8 bit lately. Very simplistic, and not done that well to my mind, but the graphics don’t really matter that much in a game like this anyway. The gameplay has a twist in that you collect resources (gold, stone, wood) by matching certain tiles and use them to upgrade your ‘home’ allowing you to upgrade your attacks and character. You match different types of tile to give a magical attack or a physical attack; damage to different monsters is more effective with certain attacks so there is a strategy to it in some ways. You match chests to perhaps get items (magical attack orbs, one shot ‘big’ physical attacks, keys for the chests, food for health, scrolls), match keys to open doors and chests to get past them if you don’t have an item skeleton key, and so forth.
I did find the best strategy is not to hunt too hard for the precise best match for the current task but to keep matching as quickly as you can, the tiles falling down would often either line up or present a more obvious quick match for the attack (or key, or whatever) you require. It was useful to match wood, stone, shields (which give you shields to absorb damage) and keep an eye on the rest of the board waiting for attack combinations to present themselves. I had a lot of fun with the game, though I felt it to be a bit short, having beat it in 7.5 hours. Towards the end I ran out of things to spend XP, gold and resources on – I sort of felt that it would be nice to have a further stage where you could level up even more and so on, but for £3 or so I cannot complain.
Will I play it through again? I am not sure, it was fun to play through once, but probably not – at least not for a while. I might try to get the last of the Steam achievements but that will be about it for now. However I find myself popping back into Bejewelled now and again so I daresay I will play this one again in a few months. I haven’t played Lucid in a long time though, that game became a bit frustrating towards the end and the higher levels – and also that game was a lot more about the somewhat mesmerizing graphics and sound than the gameplay.
10,000,000 has distracted me from carrying on with Tomb Raider legend, which has been somewhat frustrating in places with control issues and lingering bug like features – but I hope to beat TR legend and will possibly do a blog post on it since I have some notes I have been making as I am playing it, mainly about the frustrations! The frustrations are mostly down to me, but I can see why some people prefer to play the game with a controller not a mouse and keyboard. But that is another post, when (if) I beat that game. Meanwhile, don’t look down on me too much if you seem me playing a lot of super casual soft core match three games if I am on your Steam friends list or something – I am probably feeling a bit rubbish and am distracting myself. And why not, it is still better than daytime TV.