Tile Matching genre has been available for so long. The origins of these games lie in the 1980s with games like Tetris, Chain Shot!, and Puzznic. Then, slowly but sure, tile matching games stick its claws with the another legendary tile matching game, Bejeweled. Finally, in this modern era and probably some of you are playing with this game, one of the most-played game, Candy Crush.
From the classic Tetris to Candy Crush, tile matching games have evolved so much, there are many variations appeared to keep the genre fresh and still appealing to the gamers.
One of the tile matching game that's trying to appeal with its innovative gameplay is coming from Bangkok, Picsoft Studios. Combining RPG and tile matching game, this is Guardian Sword.
Guardian Sword - the Premise
Guardian Sword introduces Guts as the main character. Guts is pictured as a hot-headed, fearless, typical of warrior, swordsman who's looking for the one and only sword, the Guardian Sword.
Upon his journey, he will meet various monsters, from agile monsters, heavy monsters, flying monsters, into underwater creatures. Despite all of these monsters, Guts also will meet strong companions that will aid him to defeat the creatures and finally secure the Sword, that actually in 3 months will become his sword eventually.
Guardian Sword is taking place in medieval story where all the magic and monsters are alive, safe and sound. There will of course be dark knight that also tries to acquire this sword and obviously will do anything in order to keep Guts away from the sword.
Guardian Sword - the Gameplay
The gameplay is just like many tile matching game in particular, of course Picsoft Studios adds some spices to heat things up. The core is to create a line across three or more tiles with the same color. Once you've matched enough tiles, then Guts will act accordingly to the tiles.
There are four tiles in particular, with special tiles for each color. Red is for melee attack, Yellow for ranged attack, Green for shield to nullify damage, and Blue to refill your mana. The special tiles are including increasing accuracy, critical, boost tile value, and clear all the respective color. However, in each battle, you are only allowed to bring maximum four unique special tiles (during the battle, there are obviously more than four special tiles coming out).
Guts also able to release skills. Like special tiles, you can only bring four skills out of 20 special skills and ultimate attacks. The skills are requiring certain mana (blue tiles) to cast the skill. Once Guts casts the skill, there will be cool down timer before Guts can uses the skill again.
Beside skills and tiles, Guts also accompanied with some monsters that he encountered during his journey. There are various pets that Guts can brings along inside the battle, but Guts can only choose one pet that can be brought with.
The monsters that appear before Guts also can't be underestimated. While in the early game, Guts will be overwhelming its enemies. Later on the game, he will be facing huge difficulty to beat the bosses, beside dealing some really huge damage, they can also inflict status to Guts like stun, lost accuracy, and even worse, Guts could be inflicted with Curse, a timer status that once it timer runs out, Guts will die. The only way to survive is to do some leveling until you can beat the monsters that spawned near the boss easily. Then you can try to fight the boss.
Guardian Sword is using dungeon crawler system. Guts will be moving from one point to other point, with the enemies marked with skull signs. Inside the dungeon, lies puzzle that needs to be solved in order for Guts to advance into the next room. To solve this puzzle, there are some tools required, each tool was designed specifically to solve certain puzzle. So there won't be any puzzle too hard for you, it's just you haven't known which tool to use. Also since Guardian Sword is an RPG game, you will need to travel from one dungeon to other dungeon. This travel is for finding the missing pieces, or just to continue the story.
Guardian Sword is perfect to be played in mobile device. You can hold in one hand while playing this game. There's no specific requirement needed for the game. Mostly, Guardian Sword uses tap and hold to control almost all the elements inside. There wasn't any particular innovation in the control, but it certainly is do its work well.
Things I Like
When I know Guardian Sword, I didn't know that this game is actually designed for a premium game. The only thing I knew, Guardian Sword is a free-to-play game. However, after seeing the content, how big it is, I started to disbelief myself that this is a free-to-play game. It's worth the price of a premium, and I haven't found any ads or disturbing F2P IAP.
Well, it actually is a premium game and the way it promotes itself is quite new for me. I don't recall many apps or games using this kind of promotion, selling it for free first, then increase its price afterwards.
However, despite this unique promotion tactic, Guardian Sword itself is a solid game. The mash-up gameplay, combining RPG and Match-3 is already a pretty good game on its own. However, adding it with a generous content and puzzle inside, has elevated the quality of overall content.
The variety of monsters and the limitation of skills and special tiles is also a smart move from Picsoft Studios for me. In short word, you can't blindly choose whatever skills and tiles you feel to bring. I'll give you a simple use case example. There are monsters that has magic resistance, if you're smart, you won't bring special skills that's dealing magic damage (it's just outrageous to bring one).
What I'm trying to say is, there are always skills for certain type of enemies. You must be smart to choose which one to bring, in order to counter those types of enemy. This kind of strategy is what I love the most from the game.
I've said it and I'd like to say it again. Guardian Sword is a solid game. It has a generous amount of puzzles and monsters that won't let you put down your devices. If you're looking for a great RPG game with some innovation, or perhaps if you probably get bored with Candy Crush Saga and want some puzzle RPG game, you should consider Guardian Sword as your choice.