Damian Filigree: The Book Of Thoth in Review – Can I Borrow That Treasure?

Damian Filigree: the Book of Thoth is a quirky little game.  It provides a rather interesting match 3 mechanic combined with a “keep on running” component complete with a nasty mummy and a bunch of traps.  The problem is that while it initially feels like a casual affair, it ends up being more of a hardcore experience.  As a result I’m not really sure how much I care for it.  I can guarantee you that you’ve not experienced anything quite like it before, however.

There’s no real background given in the game, but I’m guessing Damian is some sort of treasure hunter.  Well, he’s found treasure all right – along with pits, dangerous walls, vampire bats and a grumpy mummy.  He’d like to make it out of this tomb alive, and he needs your help to do it.

Each level is filled with hieroglyphics, and it’s your job to match them in groups of 3 or more to make them go away.  As the glyphs disappear Damian can move forward and escape the mummy.  However, in order to successfully navigate a level you also have to get past several traps.  Each trap has its own tool to bypass it, and you collect the tools by making multiple matches in one move, effectively creating a chain of matches.

The problem is that the mummy is constantly on the move and you’re not, so if you pause to try and plan out your matches to create chains, then the mummy might get you.  And if you just make matches to keep moving and don’t collect the necessary tools to pass the traps, you’ll also be in trouble.  You start the game with four hearts, and you lose one each time you get to a trap without the appropriate tool.  You also lose a heart every time the mummy successfully grabs you.  It’s easy to outrun the mummy unless you stop to plan your matches to get the most chains.  I think you see the dilemma here.

The match 3 mechanic is rather unique.  There is one row of glyphs in the middle of the playing field.  You click on a glyph, and everything from that glyph to the farthest one of the left switches places with the glyph directly opposite of it in the line.  If there are an odd number of glyphs, the glyph in the middle stays where it’s at.  It took me a few games to figure this out, because the tutorial just shows you which glyphs to select, rather than explain why you’re selecting them.  That’s all there is to it, since items get collected and used automatically.

The graphics are decent but they won’t come close to blowing you away.  The glyphs look nice, but then glyphs aren’t really that complicated to draw.  There are lots of details in the area where Damian is running, but everything is so small that sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on, and for the most part you can’t really appreciate that aspect of the game like I think you should be able to.

The sound effects do an okay job of complimenting everything that’s going on, but I think there needs to be a better balance in the audio levels.  Between turning the glyphs and the music it’s often hard to hear what, if anything, is happening down below in Damian’s world.  On the other hand, the music is great.  It’s like some weird combination of Indiana Jones, Aladdin and The Mummy, and I love listening to it.

In the end I’m not really sure what to make of this game.  I love match 3 games, and this is definitely one of the most original match 3 mash-ups I’ve played on the iPhone, but it just isn’t grabbing me for some reason.  It’s certainly not a bad game, especially once you get it all figured out, but I just don’t feel like there’s going to be any long term love for it from me. There is a free lite version of Damian Filigree though on the App Store, so you can always give it a try first to see if it’s something you’d enjoy.

App Summary
Title: Damian Filigree: the Book of ThothDeveloper: Bloomsix
Reviewed Ver:1.0.2Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$0.99App Size:Size: 15.9 MB
  • Unique match 3 concept
  • Decent graphics
  • Awesome music
  • Not compelling for some reason
  • Damian’s area too small
  • Sound effects unbalanced


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