Review: 10,000,000 – A Speedy Puzzle/RPG

10000000 screenshot
Review: 10,000,000 – A Speedy Puzzle/RPG

Platforms: Windows PC, iOS

Game Name: 10,000,000

Publisher: EightyEightGames

Developer: EightyEightGames

Genre: Puzzle, RPG

Release Date: Jan 15, 2013

Developer Summary

10,000,000 is an award winning hybrid RPG/Action/Puzzle game. Matching tiles controls your character enabling you to explore, fight and loot. When you are not facing monsters you will be back in your prison, constructing buildings and getting stronger for your next run. Can you score 10000000 and earn your freedom?

What We Think

It’s very rare that elegant simplicity and depth go hand in hand but 10,000,000’s interesting mix of fast-paced puzzle gameplay and RPG conventions may have achieved this elusive goal. 10,000,000 is a “match three” puzzler set at a fast pace and backed up with several RPG qualities such as equipment upgrades and experience gain. Available both as a mobile game and through Steam, 10,000,000 strives to be both a quick escape and an engaging time-sink.

10,000,000 gets things started by dropping you straight into your castle which acts as a kind of hub room. The PC version is controlled entirely with mouse clicks and this is extremely intuitive; no aspect of the interface feels opaque or difficult to grasp. The castle is damaged to start with and only one door is accessible- the door leading to dungeon runs. Clicking here will take the player to a tutorial dungeon that will explain the basics of the gameplay.

The gameplay of 10,000,000 involves matching at least three blocks by sliding bars horizontally or vertically in a grid. As you do this your character is seen running from left to right above the grid, occasionally encountering enemies, chests and locked doors. Which blocks you are aiming to match depends on what challenge your character is facing; you must match swords and wands to damage enemies, keys to unlock doors or chests and other blocks like wood and stone in the mean time to gain resources.

10,000,000 Castle

Time is ever an issue as your running character slides backwards towards the left of the screen. If your character moves off-screen and falls behind the dungeon run ends and you must retry. Killing enemies gains time (and moves the character slightly to the right) whilst taking damage accelerates your eventual defeat. This fast paced gameplay is a double edged sword as it denies you the chance to think strategically about the puzzle but at the same time it creates a sense of excitement that would be otherwise lacking.

The puzzle gameplay is augmented by a strong backdrop of RPG elements that take place in the castle. Wood and stone can be spent to unlock and upgrade rooms in your castle that give you access to upgrades for your character. Experience (gained from killing enemies) can be spent on upgrades such as improved resource gain or extra time from certain block match-ups. Gold is spent on upgrades for your weapons; improving your blade increases damage from matching sword blocks and improving your staff improves magic damage from matching up staff blocks.

The RPG aspects of 10,000,000 may be light but they’re just enough to give the player a reason to come back for more. The desire to upgrade your weapons and abilities is compulsive and the game provides just enough variety to keep the game interesting. If there’s a flaw in this system it’s that it takes a few puzzle battles to get stuck into the RPG part of the game as all of the upgrade rooms are locked at the outset.

10,000,000 Battle

The first few levels are pretty straightforward but the difficulty begins to spike a little way in, requiring several replays and upgrades to your character in order to proceed. Thankfully 10,000,000 allows you to keep anything you gain from a failed run so you can build up your strength and make a strong push each time. The need to replay levels actually doesn’t get frustrating thanks to the enjoyable nature of the gameplay and the fact that while you may not be making progress through the campaign, you are always improving your character.

10,000,000 makes for a very enjoyable few hours and you’ll easily find yourself hooked after the first few minutes. Featuring a retro aesthetic with some catchy tunes to keep the action compelling, the game has a good atmosphere and strong gameplay. While it isn’t the longest game out there, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth here and 10,000,000 is easy to recommend to puzzle and light RPG fans alike.

EightyEightGames – Official Site

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[xrr rating=”3.5/5″]