Hands on Preview – Fuzion: Lands of Fate
I’m a big fan of games that try to mash a couple of existing concepts together into a new and fresh look. Fuzion is one of those games: a mix of RPG and scrabble. So, without further ado, let’s take spell out D-A-R-K L-O-R-D and look at the preview…
Fuzion takes the best parts of a bunch of other games and makes them even better. It mixes the fantasy artwork from an RPG with a word puzzle game and uses the static screens from those so-called App store MMOs, but adds in a large overworld map with lots of locations and quests. Then there’s the detailed story-driven quests themselves which build upon one another with a sense of accomplishment. There’s even a capital city, where you can fight against monsters in the arena or earn greater powers by facing particular word puzzle challenges.
This game feels huge. Not something you’ll beat quickly, or easily. Now I’m not particularly good at scrabble (or spelling), so at times I was perhaps more challenged than others might be. I didn’t always win a battle with a monster, nor was I always able to come up with enough words out of the letters given to pass a quest – but it’s never so frustrating that I didn’t immediately want to try again.
So the main part of Fuzion is played by choosing among a group of randomly displayed letters and creating words from them. Sometimes your goal is just to make a certain amount of words – other times, your words will cause damage against the fierce creatures you face. It’s your task to defeat those creatures before they defeat you (as shown by the balanced life meter across the top of the screen). The map is give to you in chunks, and though the quests do have an order to them, you can choose to do any that you see on your screen at any time. As you complete a series of quests, you’ll be given a challenge from a boss creature, and once you defeat it, another chunk of the map will open up.
This is the kind of game I could easily see myself losing a lot of time on. There’s some character customization at the beginning, and an open-endedness to the game that lends itself to lots of replay. Fuzion is currently in beta-testing phase, and while there are some minor bugs that still need to be worked through, it’s definitely a very polished game even at this stage. The developer is hoping to release this game soon, and I’m looking forward to everyone else being able to see how much fun Fuzion is.