Preview: Azkend 2

Thanks to the inspiration of such classics as Bejeweled there certainly isn’t a shortage of match 3 games on the App Store, but quality ones are an entirely different story.  For every Treasures Of Montezuma there are literally dozens that… well, just aren’t.  Thankfully 10 Tons rises above the ranks of “the others”, and with Azkend 2 kicks this particular series up a couple of notches [TMA’s Azkend 1 review].

The first thing you’ll note is the music, which sounds more like the soundtrack of a blockbuster action movie than a puzzle game.  I bet I could sit and listen to the soundtrack for hours and not get bored.  Of course I’m not going to do that, since on top of the great music lays a pretty addictive game.

Azkend 2 uses the “select a bunch of adjoining pieces” match 3 methodology instead of the “swap two pieces to make a match” mechanic.  It’s become more frequently used but it’s still a nice change of pace.  In addition to the classic concept of changing underlying tiles from one color to another there are several variants on the theme of destroying something before it gets to a certain spot on the board.  These segments can be quite stressful, but ultimately give you a great sense of satisfaction.

The graphics are pretty sharp.  The background scenery is quite detailed and often changes as the story progresses.  The objects that you are matching are all well designed and change according to the location that you’re in.  There are even some slick special effects, especially when the Tesla coils start firing.

In a market where these games could quite likely be a dime a dozen, Azkend 2 certainly does enough to stick out.  I’ll bring you a full report when the game finally launches, but suffice it to say that you’re in for quite a journey with this match 3 sequel.

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