Sucked up a Sunday
Buy it here.
- Addicting fusion of puzzle and RPG elements, akin to Puzzle Quest
- Gameplay is extremely fast and gives constant rewards
- Upgrades, challenges, and perks further the push the "one more run" concept
- Charming music and retro 8-bit style (if that style is a bit overdone)
- No in-app purchases. Bravo!
- Can prove difficult at first, with runs only lasting a few seconds
- Endgame push to the finish can be a horrendous grind
- Music is enjoyable but extremely repetitive
Get ready to fuel your puzzle addiction
Plenty of gamers berate the advent of iPhone gaming, which has always baffled me. The iPhone has done two very important things for gaming in general: added tons more players to the mix (making gaming more mainstream than ever) and bringing on the rise of the $1-$5 game. It's an oft-spoke argument between gamers which is better: a $40 3DS game or 40 $1 iPhone games? And while it's true that most of the stuff on the iPhone App Store is a consumer trap, there are some absolutely incredible games hidden amongst the garbage.
One of these hidden gems is 10,000,000, a game cursed with both a stupid name and a horrible icon. However, once you get into this puzzler rpg, you might find it hard to quit.
Not quite ten million...
The goal of 10,000,000 is simple: do a dungeon run that earns you ten million points. In order to accomplish this lofty goal, you'll need to gain power and hone your skills. See, 10,000,000 is a fusion of an rpg, one of those "constant runner" games, and a puzzle game. While I admit to having an affinity to Puzzle Quest, I have yet to find a game that blends the two in such a way that I can't stop playing. Sword & Poker was decent but didn't really do it for me, and others have come and gone (the indie scene is full of 'em). 10,000,000, however, does it right: by mixing the best of both genres.
The gameplay is simple. Your character on the top of the screen will keep running until he runs into something (a chest, a locked door, or a monster). It is up to you to help him defeat/unlock said obstacle by matching the correct tiles on bottom (keys for locks, wands and swords for enemies). Some enemies are weaker to magic attacks (wands) and others to physical (swords), so it's important to keep an eye out for that. When he runs into something it slowly pushes him backwards, and if he reaches the far left side of the screen your run (and score) are done.
The game is complex but has a good tutorial.
Matching blocks is identical to PopCap's Chuzzle (this is not a Bejeweled clone, unlike 99% of the app store). Rather than switch pieces you instead slide rows or columns until three of a kind (or more) are lined up. It's a simple idea that worked great in Chuzzle and works better here, because it has a point.
But where the game gets crazy is in the amount of things you earn. Killing enemies earns you XP. Opening chests earns you gold. Other things you match include stone, wood, item bags, and shields. Stone and wood are accumulated to repair your castle to buy better upgrades. Item bags have a random chance to give you expendable items to help your run. Shields are used to protect you from enemy hits because, rather than having health, enemies just push you further to the far side (and the end of your run) if they land a hit. Storing shields is essential for late-game runs.
Home, sweet home.
There's more. XP can be spent on passive perks that permanently improve your character (ranging from more XP, more points, and additional ways to add time to the clock such as matching 5-in-a-row or opening chests). Gold is spent on the plethora of upgrades: swords, wands, armor, and shields all need to be upgraded. Each shop also has it's own level-up mechanic, which you pay wood and stone to unlock further tiers of weapons.
Yes, it's a game that plasters you with resources and rewards your every move, and that's why its so addicting. On top of that system, every run you have a set of three challenges you can accomplish for bonus gold and fame. These start easy but soon get very tricky, requiring some skillful (and fast) play in an already fast-paced game. But it gives runs more to strive for other than "get more resources," which just intensifies the addiction.
There are plenty of upgrades to obtain.
There is a load of content here for you to dig through as you shoot for that ten million sweet spot, and while the ride is a fun one there are a few hangups. The music, while a catchy 8-bit style, only has about 3-4 songs for your runs and quickly gets repetitive (even if runs usually only last between five seconds and a minute). It is charming at first and then quickly is grating, so turn the sound off.
The other bigger issue is the late-game. While you can use "alteration tonics" to change the game so you don't get resources you don't need (turn your gathered stone and wood into gold, for example), it still comes down to having to grind for gold during the final few tiers. It's frustrating and a bit obnoxious, especially since the pace up to that point offered just the amount of rewards over time to keep you going. I seriously played this game for something like six hours straight, only stopping because I had to sleep. It's a pity the end degenerates into gold farming.
Kill the uglies!
Despite that minor complaint, 10,000,000 is a fantastic and addicting iPhone experience. Getting better at the underlying puzzle directly correlates with in-game progression, so you get that sense of accomplishment as you become a master at row and column sliding. Because of the limited number of resources chains come easily, and are satisfying to watch and make you feel awesome when you crush an enemy in one move. While the underlying rpg elements are particularly deep, they are good enough to make you actually have to decide how to build your character. Spend the gold and make a glass cannon, or save up and upgrade your armor? Or just grind and GET IT ALL?!
At the insultingly low price of $2, 10,000,000 is absolutely worth getting if you own any iOS device. The app is even universal, so both iPhone and iPad owners can play the game at the low price. I hope this game becomes a big hit (there's been plenty of buzz about it these last few days), as it is a thrilling, fast paced puzzler that is absolutely worth your $2. If only the ending didn't break down into monotony.
Four out of five stars, but considering the price I'd absolutely recommend everyone pick it up.
Suffer not a pixelated beastie to live.