You Must Build a Boat – What We Think:
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the game itself, I never particularly liked the rather colorless title of EightyEightGames’ 10000000. Thankfully I have no such disdain for the bold and whimsical title of its sequel, You Must Build A Boat, which also happens to be a more than worthy successor to the RPG/puzzler hybrid.
You Must Build A Boat takes the formula established by 10000000 and expands upon it considerably, adding new gameplay mechanics and providing a much improved hub area and story structure for the action to revolve around. Instead of a grey and relatively drab castle, you’ll be travelling along a river in an ever-developing boat. As you adventure along a startlingly dangerous river, you’ll collect new companions, weapons and components for your boat.
The gameplay is relatively similar to 10000000; your character runs along the top of the screen encountering various obstacles, and you must match the appropriate tiles to help him overcome them. Swords and wands deal damage to enemies, whilst matching keys will help you open chests.
Your character is always moving toward the left of the screen when you aren’t making progress, and enemy attacks will hasten this process, so you need to quickly match tiles to ensure you don’t fall behind. If your character reaches the left of the screen, your current run ends but you get to keep everything you gained along the way; there is no ultimate failure in You Must Build A Boat.
And We’ll All Float On OK
You’ll always have a few quests to complete in order to progress to the next area of the river. Once you fulfill certain parameters, your boat will move on and you’ll be able to do dungeon runs in a new environment with new enemies. These dungeon settings include ancient Egyptian tombs, sewers, fiery hellscapes and more. Enemy types bring new dangers, such as resistances to either physical or magical attacks, so you need to think about how you’re going to deal with new threats.
Eyes on the Horizon
Developing your boat grants access to new resources and NPCs that allow you to improve your sword or wand damage, add passive buffs from captured monsters and buy special items to bestow powerful, permanent improvements to your capabilities. There is plenty of progression to keep things interesting, and unlocking new abilities ensures that there’s always something new to work towards.
The visual side of You Must Build A Boat hasn’t evolved much from 10000000, but this is to be expected; a retro style remains central to the design, and the artwork does a good job of serving this aesthetic. More noteworthy is the soundtrack, which features some fantastic chiptune music that makes each run exciting whilst also playing to ’90s gaming nostalgia (it evoked Sega Master System memories for me).
I’m On A Boat
You Must Build A Boat is a superb action puzzle game worth turning to whether you need a brief distraction or a couple hours of absorbing adventure. The endless feeling of momentum found in the gameplay is backed up by the new river-based setting which elicits a sense of a journey being undertaken – a quality that its predecessor lacked. Considering the attractive price and the option for a mobile version, You Must Build A Boat is certainly worth a look as an engaging, bite-sized puzzler that may grip you for longer than you expect.
You Must Build a Boat is available via Steam, Google Play and iTunes
Watch the trailer for You Must Build a Boat below: