Azkend 2: The World Beneath was developed and published by 10tons Ltd. It was released for the Playstation 4, PS Vita, and the Xbox One on or before May 6th for $7.99 (£6.39). A press review copy for the Xbox One was provided to The Hidden Levels.
Azkend 2: The World Beneath is a hybrid match three and hidden objects puzzle game that is moved along with a story that has similar a style to Tomb Raider. Your character who sounds much like one of the voices of Laura Croft was traveling from Liverpool to New York and gets pulled into a whirlpool and wake up in a strange place you’ll need to find your way out. To do this you’ll use the puzzles to find the pieces needed to make it out of this mysterious place.
What I Enjoyed:
Unique Match Game – Match three is a genre of games I do enjoy. These type of games started off as simple clear the board or get so many matches in a certain time period. Since those early roots of this type of game it has grown and this game pushes the genre just a bit further. This rendition only requires you to pick at least three of the same tiles that are already next to each other. There are many different power ups to help you put chains together as well as bonus help when you meet objectives. Once you meet the puzzles overall objective you unlock the piece you were searching for and you still have to maneuver this piece from the top of the puzzle to the bottom. Every new puzzle felt fresh and added a new twist that made it unique and challenging.
Challenging Match Game – This is one of those easy to pick up and hard to master games. It utilizes more tiles to make it more challenging as you progress and there are plenty of roadblocks to get in your way. Some of the later puzzles use combinations of these and even half way through the game it was still adding new challenges to work around. Some will require quick picking and others require long combinations to get through the puzzle to unlock the piece. Once a piece is unlocked you will still need to move it out of the bottom of the puzzle to collect it.
Multiple Modes Match Game – The game doesn’t have you doing the same type of puzzle over and over again. They are similar however the tiles change and what is required to complete them changes enough to keep the puzzles fresh. This is an important aspect of simpler puzzle games as they can often feel monotonous, that’s not the case in this instance.
What I Disliked:
Out of Control – For games in this genre the controls need to be solid and clear or they just get in the way of making progress especially on the timed puzzles. Unfortunately the controls have some issues and need to be polished or patched possibly. I would have to go back and re-select the tiles I wanted on many occasions and it would cost me much needed time. The pointer didn’t go where I wanted it to go and controller a pointer with a thumb stick is way too challenging here. I could have benefited with a snap option or an assist snapping to the tiles.
Music to my Fears– The soundtrack was boring and predictable. It reminded me of some bad elevator music that I found myself searching where to turn it off at the very beginning. Audio is such an important aspect of any game so when developers skimp on music or sound it’s really easy to hear.
Lackluster Story – I like that they tried to tie in a story with the puzzles however there wasn’t anything within the story that made me want to get excited about. Boring story without any motivation to help this person trapped in this strange place. The mechanics of the game are similar to a substantial number of matching games so a compelling story and good sound really are a crucial pair of traits missing.
Overall Arkend 2: The World Beneath is a good game with terrible controls that make it more difficult than it needs to be. I enjoyed the puzzles and the additional challenges but was bored with the soundtrack and story line. Normally at this price point it would be a buy it now however until something can be done about the controls I would suggest waiting. We will certainly update if we come across a patch for some of the issues but hold off for a sale for now.
Score: Wait for a Sale
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