Feb 042013


Most Intriguing Idea: Coupling puzzle-based gameplay to a timer with an RPG motif.

Best Design Decision: The sub-goal system does a great job of helping the player optimize his approach.

Worst Design Decision: Steep gold requirements that produce grinding.


Match-three puzzles are pretty boring. The regular arrival of successful matches helps keep the player’s attention, but as an intellectual exercise these puzzles are rather thin. That eventually turned me off RPG-context puzzlers like Puzzle Quest. 10,000,000 addresses this problem by coupling its match-three gameplay to a timer that takes the form of a man running through a dungeon. Each run then becomes a rush of frenetically matching tiles to either deal the optimal amount and kind of damage to the dungeon’s monsters or clear the board of resource tiles to receive more damage tiles. In this view, the key tiles count as “damage” since doors and chests must be “defeated” before the player character can advance. The player can use the resources and gold he acquires on runs through the dungeon to repair parts of the castle he’s living in, and these rooms in turn can give him more attack and defense power in exchange for gold. Unfortunately, the gold requirements are very steep and lead to a lot of grinding runs to get upgrades, even if the player opts to use a buff that nets him gold instead of stone or wood from resource tiles.

I had a good time, though, and would really enjoy seeing this gameplay motif coupled to a more full-fledged RPG with a story, dungeon variety, and better music.

Verdict: Recommended

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