Paradise Quest [rating: 4.5/5]
Paradise Quest is the latest match 3 style game to join the the app store where there are already a plethora of similar titles. To stick out of the crowd these types of game need to be at the best and preferably add something new to the genre, so how does Paradise Quest match up to these two requirements?
First the basics, the game has a beautiful tropical island forest theme, a multitude of animals and birds frequent the screen as you navigate the menu’s and play the game adding to the Paradise Island feel. The sound effects and music are nice too, nothing too intrusive but noticeable enough to add to the ambiance. The controls are simple. The menu’s are navigated by touch and while some of the navigation button can sometimes be hidden by the beautiful backgrounds once you know where they are you’ll have no trouble using them. The one thing I did find is that some of the navigation buttons and option controls are rather small and you have to be very accurate in ensuring you choose the right option, after silencing the sound it took me at least a couple of minutes to be able to grab the slider control again to turn it up!
Controlling the game is simple, especially with the addition of sliding controls to select your pieces as well as tapping them. As with most match 3 type games the board is initially randomly set with a range of playing pieces and again in keeping with the games theme the playing pieces range from bugs, birds and animals to flora and fauna and your task is to swap adjacent pieces to line 3 matching pieces up. All pretty straight forward up to this point.
The twist to Paradise Quest is they way you clear the board, uncover artifacts and progress through the 40 different levels. Each level consists of a different shaped board which extends beyond the edges of the iPhone/iPod touch screen and therefore you have to navigate around it to uncover all the treasures of your Paradise Quest. Navigating around the board is done as you match the items. If you clear a set of 3 or more pieces on the right side of the screen it will move to the right, clear a set near the top of the screen and you’ll move up. Clearing the vine tiles also helps you navigate each map as it helps grow the vine that surrounds each map. Grow the vine completely and it will allow you to swing to anywhere on the map directly.
Navigating around all areas of the different locations is key to finding the hidden treasures that not only allow you to complete the levels but also uncover power-ups that when used allow you to clear whole sections of the playing are in one go. The main treasure you need to find on each level is the Habitat Fragment and there is often more than one of these on each level to be found. Each one is surrounded by a stone tile and you’ll need to clear all 8 tiles surrounding the Habitat Fragment to release it.
Sometimes areas of the map will be blocked by walls and you will need to find the key before being able to pass. These keys and other artifacts are hidden on each map beneath sand tiles and you’ll need to clear those before being able to progress. All of this at the same time as you try to beat the clock and not run out of possible moves.
As you clear each island you will build up your resources, which resources you build up is based on which ones you use most often to clear the levels. You can then use these to upgrade the island and bring back the wildlife. The are a plethora or species to bring back and not only can images of them be seen in the island itself but you also have a photo album to keep track of all your successes.
There’s no multi-player mode which would have definitely added an extra dimension to the game but there are achievements to be unlocked and a online leaderboard to compare your skills to the masses.
With 40 levels to play through and additional packs available via in game purchase Paradise Quest should keep you entertained for quite a while, if you are a fan of the match 3 genre or puzzle games in general I would encourage you to spend $1.99 on this excellent game.
- Beautiful Scenery & Environments
- Not just your normal match 3 game
- 40 levels to keep you busy
The Not So Good
- Tricky navigation controls
- Slow load times
Reviewed by: Craig Willis
Reviewed Version 1.0.0
Size: 79.5 MB