10000000, a Dungeon Crawling RPG game with a focus on tile-matching, has been released by EightyEight Games and is now available from the app store. An interesting mash-up of genres, 10000000 is a strategic gem that melds multiple elements to create a compelling experience.
- Quirky retro style with pixelated graphics and little to no text
- Chiptune soundtrack meshes with retro style
- Cool mash-up of differing genres with plenty of upgradeable elements
- Controls suffer from some quirks
- Would like iCloud syncing
Your character is a small, pixelated man who can only escape the dungeon in which he’s trapped if he can score 10 million points by matching items upon a grid. By dragging your finger across the grid, you can move entire rows or columns of icons. Matching three consecutive sword or staff icons will deal damage to enemies, matching three shields will provide defense, matching three keys will open gates and treasure chests, matching three backpacks will reward you with loot, and matching wood or stone will allow you to make improvements to your castle. The screen top shows your character as he side-scrolls through the dungeon. Along the way, he’ll encounter more than 20 enemy types, as well as gates and chests. You must match the appropriate item while stopped by the corresponding obstacle in order to pass. Chests typically require two padlocks to be unlocked, and most enemies will take a few hits with weapons before they are vanquished. While he is stopped by an obstacle (or when struck by an enemy), your character slowly moves backward toward the left side of the screen. If he falls off the screen, your attempt ends.
Stone and wood matches allow you to gain access to rooms in your castle where you can train in new skills that improve your attack and defense stats, which can greatly improve your chances of surviving longer and running up your score. You can earn a good deal of currency while playing, but completing any of the current side objectives will also reward you. There are also three slots at the screen top that can house helpful perks while playing, such as transforming a bunch of tiles into swords to make matching easier or food that will give you a forward boost to keep you away from the danger zone just a bit longer. These items are usually obtained by opening chests, defeating enemies, or making matches. Experience points are also earned as you progress, increasing your point multiplier and allowing you to upgrade certain abilities. The game moves at a pretty quick clip, and getting stuck for even a few moments can doom your attempt. It’s more challenging that it first appears, but finding a good rhythm, developing a good strategy, and hitting a run of good luck will help you to go far.
Graphically, 10000000 utilizes a quirky retro style that uses a lot of pixilation and little to no clear description of what items are or what they do. Tiles are easily distinguished from one another, and their basic color schemes create a somewhat unappealing mishmash when view as a whole. The chiptune soundtrack fits the game’s look well. Tapping and dragging are your only input methods, though the dragging doesn’t work quite as well as we’d like. Sometimes we want to drag a column, but a row is triggered instead. It sometimes takes a few attempts to get the right one. Additionally, if you don’t drag your row/column into the proper spot, it’ll snap back into its original position. This is understandable if a match is not made, but when you don’t quite get the three tiles lined up just properly, it’ll still send the row/column snapping back. The area within which the row/column locks in for a match could be a touch larger to accommodate. Furthermore, the timing and type of matches creates frustrating situations, too. Huge combos can wipe out important tiles, leaving you without a good move. While matches and/or combos are being created, you cannot create additional matches, which wastes valuable time. Also, if you make a match of keys, for example, when you aren’t near a chest or door, you cannot hold over the match to use on the next applicable obstacle. It’s essentially wasted, too, so you’ll need to wait until your character stops to determine what match to make and to have its effect count for something.
Replay value is quite good, as it’ll take some time to get your scores near the target. The various customizations and random nature of the board setups open up new possibilities every time you play. Things can get a little repetitive after a while, and the short attempts can get frustrating, but overall we really enjoyed the game a lot. A universal app for $1.99, 10000000 is a solid 4-Dimple effort.