Saturday, November 17, 2018

My Hunt for Match-3 Dungeon Games

I've been on the hunt lately for a casual match-3 dungeon game (that isn't Puzzle and Dragons), and it's led me to a few interesting finds that I probably wouldn't have played otherwise. It's varied from Not-really-match-3 to a couple Puzzle and Dragon clones.

Never played Puzzle and Dragons?  Start here. It's had over 5 million installs, so . . . well worth your time based on that number alone.

Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you a bit more about the apps and games I've journeyed through the past month.

Battle Camp
Here's your link! This one actually has more installs than Puzzle and Dragons! It's kind of a cuter style and reminds me of Puzzles and Dragons mixed with something like Poptropica. Apparently as you get deeper, there are things like cooperative raids? I'm not sure. I didn't make it past the second area of the game because I was looking for something that wasn't . . . you guessed it . . . Puzzle and Dragons.

I have to say my outfit was pretty good for being free, but I saw some people walking around with crazy stuff on and epic pets at their side.

Heroic Dungeon
You wanna link?  Here it is! This bad boy only has 5,000 installs, but I have to say, I had more fun playing it than I did Battle Camp. It's a little strange. Kind of like Minesweeper meets an AlphaCat style Match-3 game in a way.

I'm actually kind of surprised more people haven't played this game, but on the other hand, combat does get a little repetitive in that the match-3 doesn't last more than 2-4 moves usually and it's very easy to die in a dungeon and get your butt kicked. I dig the art style and cute monsters in this one (if that Kobold in the above screenshot doesn't scream "you no take candle" I don't know what does). It feels like a lot of work went into this creation, but ultimately it's not really what I'm looking for.

3 in a row pixel aka Match 3 RPG
Now THIS is a deep dig. It only has 1,000 installs and I think might have been created by a couple of kids?

I'm not sure, but at first the match-3 seemed very limited and archaic; however, as it turns out . . . it's actually an attempt to clone another couple of games that I found in my search for a Match-3 Dungeon Game . . .

10,000,000 and You Must Build a Boat
Now we're talking! I laid down $5 or so (on sale) on Steam to try out these games. I finished 10,000,000 just the other day, and it felt awesome!  Basically, the match-3 style would be what I call "Potion Motion" match-3. 

I know the KingsIsle folks didn't invent this particular kind of Match-3, but most people that read this blog would know what I'm talking about when I say "potion-motion" match-3 (because it's a very well known mini-game inside Wizard101). You drag rows and columns in order to create a match rather than select-one-swap ala Candy Crush style.

The object of 10,000,000 is to raise your score to 10 million in order to escape the dungeon. Along the way, you level up in dungeon ranks; you level up your weapons, armor, shield, and magic; you fulfill quests; and you train special abilities that help raise your score. 

I absolutely enjoyed myself playing game and there's nothing really like "winning" a casual game. guilty pleasure and move along.

Not surprisingly, You Must Build A Boat is the spiritual successor to 10,000,000.  It's basically the same game, but with a few more systems, hidden traps, and . . . a boat!  You start off with basically a boat the size of motor boat and end up with a giant party barge full of monsters who give you little bonuses.

Unfortunately this one requires a bit more grinding at the end game than I was hoping to encounter. Running the same dungeon 30 times just in hopes of getting a little bit gold to level up your dude's equipment was a little boring.  If I want to grind, I'll play an MMO. You know?

Unfortunately I'm the type of player who likes a little punishment, so I'll probably grind out a few more hours in hopes of beating the game  . . . and then probably not looking back.

 Match Land
My new boss actually turned me on to this game.  Check it out! This one has 100,000 installs on it. It's a lot like . . . you guessed it . . . Puzzle and Dragons, but the match style is slightly different in that, in P&D, you can grab one gem and drag it all around creating multiple matches before finally placing your gem down. In Match land you move a gem into a match-3 and then are given a timer to move another gem into a match -- once you make that match, you can move another gem . . . and so on until the timer ends. It allows for some interest board effects like chained pieces and null pieces that need to be broken. I think I like that even better than the click and drag style of P&D.

Anyway, you basically match your way through encounters that have 3-4 waves of enemies and collect their "goop."  Then you set up shop selling their goop to people as food. LOL! I find the concept hilarious.

It's an evolver in that you evolve your heroes and even your shops.  I'm currently on the second island in this game, and I'll probably keep it installed, but it still isn't exactly what I'm looking for.

(BTW, I'm not sure if they partnered with Cartoon Network, but there's a Cartoon Network Match Land that has like 1 million downloads, so that might be worth looking at as well.)


So, I'm still on the hunt. If you happen to have any great game suggestions that would fit the bill for "Match-3 Dungeon game" . . . let me know in the comments! I'd love to try your suggestions!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Reinhardt type of a weekend

I had a lot of fun over the weekend, both in real life and in Overwatch. Lemme break that down for you.

First up, it was my beautiful wife's birthday on Sunday, so we all celebrated with outings to a couple of great food locations like Waffle Love and Kerby Lane. We also worked hard planting a new tree and improving on a backyard project we've been working on this Summer.

Tearing up all that grass and laying down all that mulch was not easy, my friends

Secondly, the kids scored the new Super Mario Party game for the Switch. While I haven't had a chance to play this yet, I did spend some time watching over their shoulders, and it looks awesome. I'm thinking there will be more to say about this in a future blog post of mine.

Third, I worked just a bit more on my Roblox level finishing up the walls of level 2 from my epic Maze creation.

That big open area in the maze will be a "zombie village" eventually

Finally, after a break of a couple weeks, I played a lot of Overwatch over the weekend! Vanessa Mythdust and I finished up our Competitive Placement matches (yeah, as expected, I'm still in silver), and just had a lot of quick play fun, which is mostly what I do anyway. To those ends, I mostly played Reinhardt . . . it's what I do.  I sprinkled in a few bouts of Mei, Doomfist, Junkrat, and Pharah, but it was pretty much a Reinhardt type of a weekend.

A better version of me would purchase a new computer and spend time filming or streaming a lot more of my Overwatch play, but I'm happy to at least be able to show you a few of my highlights.

It's a lot of me swinging my hammer on or near the point. ;) There were a few great moments in there like when Leala and I combo'd our ultimates (totally planned . . . we wish) for an amazing quadruple kill and like when Ana boosted me up right after a shatter and many hammer swings brought me the tears of my enemies.

Unbeknownst to me, there was even some streaming going on where Chris beheld my more competitive side.

All in all I'd give the weekend, 4 Reinhardt Hammers out of 5.

Happy Dueling

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Roblox Maze Crafting -- Day 2

Last night I was able to spend a bit more time with my Roblox maze and made some great progress! This is getting to be a proper Roblox level now.

  three things . . . that's all I ask . . 

Yup, I've put zombies in the maze, and the entrance instructions tell you exactly how to handle them when you encounter them . . . run! Luckily I've made them move pretty slowly and you'll be able to run right past them . . . except for when you can't. MUHAHAHA! *cough*

I really should name the Zombies in the maze . . . like "Inky" or "Blinky" or "Clyde"

The big revelation of last night was that things come a lot easier when someone else has already done the work for you. The real problem in crafting a Roblox level when you have no scripting experience is finding a free model that comes with, not only scripting built in, but the RIGHT scripting built in.

Case in point, I found an amazing zombie boss model last night, but the scripting on it was such that it was impossible to slow him down. As soon as he saw the player, he'd make a bee line for them and kill them in one shot. That's no fun!

Eventually I found one that I could slow down just a touch to make it easier for you to run past them, yet if they caught you, it was still dangerous.

The same holds true for the traps. At first I wanted a trap where spikes would poke out of the ground, and damage you, but none of the free models really worked well for what I was trying to do. What I did find as a replacement was an amazing fire spewing heat trap and a movement delaying bear trap. Both will damage you, and the heat trap can quickly kill you, but they're very easy to avoid in both cases . . . except for when they're not. MUHAHAHAHA! *cough cough*

A bear trap next to a zombie can be a very dangerous thing

Oh yeah . . . and the dart traps . . . watch out for those as well . . .

You might want to jump past those . . .

Next I was able to figure out how to stick a torch in the player's inventory, which gave them a traveling light source, which allowed me to make the dungeon a much darker place.

I also figured out a way to create a leaderboard that ticks up "money" based on how long you've been wandering around in the dungeon -- this also lets you see who else is in the dungeon (if there's more than just you)

Hello magical evil throne!

Finally I was able to create a one-way pressure plate that teleports you up above the dungeon when you step upon the throne at the end of the maze, which eventually will teleport you to level two of the maze, but for now it just traps you in an enclosed space with a zombie. MUHAHAHAHA! *cough cough cough* sorry about that evil laugh that keeps coming out.

See Mr. Zombie peaking through the tablets?

My little buddy played through my maze last night and this time he got completely lost, caught in a bear trap, stuck with darts, and chased by several zombies.  He was all abuzz from it (probably not the best thing for me to have him experience right before bed time), and he had tons of ideas for me to again . . . make it better.

He let me know that the sounds in the dungeon were out of control now, and we need to trim those down. He also told me he was going to forward me a tutorial on how to make a shop so we can do things like purchase a sword when we make it to level two . . . so we can actually fight the zombies!

Again, if you'd like to see the progress, hop over to the maze and check it out:

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Maze Crafting in Roblox

I've been wanting to play games with my youngest lately and mostly what he plays is Roblox, so this past week, we've been playing a lot of Roblox together . . . and Mario Party 8 as well, but that's a story for a different time! For today, it's all about Roblox!!

I've never messed around with the builder studio in Roblox, so I downloaded it over the weekend and started piecing together an epic maze.  At first it just started as a drawing that I etched out on a paper in sections until I had the completed maze.

 Close enough for Jazz as they say . . .

As I drew out the map, I'd simultaneously drag and drop walls on to the game board and lay them out according to the master map.

So many walls . . .

Total labor of love this one. It took four or five hours to completely drag and drop and resize and height adjust all the pieces exactly how I wanted them.

At the end of the day, I stuck a big throne chair (thank you free files built by other players) at the end of the maze and put a couple signs at the front saying, "Find the throne."  . . . in retrospect maybe I should change that to a toilet at the end of the maze?

Who's to say that isn't just a really fancy toilet anyway?

The next thing I did was throw down a bunch of torches in the hallways and covered the top of the maze, but not too much since I'd have to put down a lot more torches to actually see where you're going in darkness. (or perhaps put a torch in the player's inventory.)

At this point I had my son enter the maze and to my surprise he didn't wander around for 20 minutes like I thought he would . . . he got lost once, but soon was back on track and at the exit -- 10 minutes tops. He told me he liked my maze, and we instantly started brainstorming together on how to make it better.

To those ends I added some music to the game and a torch sound effect and laid down a couple of traps near the beginning . . . and here's where things started to get tricky. 

Pretty "straight forward" I think . . .

The programming language for Roblox is Lua.  I haven't studied a programming language since Basic. I'm not kidding, so in order to add cool things in to the maze, I'm going to have to hunt down code that other people have crafted or *gulp* learn some Lua.

Anyway, it's loaded out there for anyone that wants to wander around in it's current state, but we're plotting an epic maze yet to come with multiple floors, monsters, traps, and way cooler stuff . . . um . . . eventually! :)

Feel free to give us a shout out in the comments if you made it through the maze. 

Happy Dueling

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Rolled and Told #1 WOOT!

Yesterday was September 26th, and as I stated 10 days ago, I was "all in" on picking up Issue 1 of the new Rolled and Told comic. I called my local shop the day before and they were kind enough to hold it at the front for me, so I could head there on my lunch break yesterday to pick it up.

Big ups to the Rogue's Gallery Comic Shop

Do I call this a comic?  It's not really a comic.  It's more like a nice comic-book-sized magazine. 

Hey! They spelled my name right!

I was more than happy to pay the $8 price tag because the quality is really worth it. The cover feels smooth in your hands, and the pages are a nice heavier bond than that easily tear-able stuff most comics are printed on.

That cow falling out of the airship is an actual thing in the adventure . . . hilarious!

Inside are five main features:
  • An adventure where you hunt down a tribe of technology thieving goblins in a high skies mission.
  • A DM advice column on how to help every person around the table shine as a character.
  • A DM advice column on critical hits/fails.
  • A fun, random loot table for odd pirate treasure.
  • A one-shot airship adventure where you become part of a ship's crew.

Love this airship deck illustration here, just wish it was on a grid!

In between each of these features are character sheets, one or two panel comics/illustrations, and at the very end of the "zine" there are advertisements for Lionforge's other products and a few pages for making notes. Awesome!  I love that this comic is meant to be used -- written on -- tucked in with your other D&D junk. You know?

I keep trying to think of ways to incorporate the adventures into the group's adventure I'm DM'ing for, and I'm sure I will find a way to make one happen, and even if I don't, it's just fun reading what these writers have come up with. Props to all the contributors.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


It's that time of the week again where from Tuesday through Thursday in Animal Cove you can play the baby animal event and earn yourself A SUPER CUTIE!  This week I was working towards the baby piglet. It's rescuin' time!

Is that a Trevor Wrecks easter egg on the left hand side?

It was a pretty awesome set of six levels that gave a good challenge and, yup, I spent coins and boosters on this one, but Oinkster is completely worth it.

4 stars and 8 tikis? ON IT!

He has possibly the craziest backstory of them all.  Especially, um, this part, "That's why I didn't really like the Baby Animal Shelter. All the humans kept their distance and when they did come see me, they wore funny rubber yellow suits with windows in the hoods."

Is that a pig stink joke or a radiation joke?

Did you know you can buy one of those suits if you have $1,310.99? LOL!  I love that they put the 99 cents on there because let me tell you . . . $1,311 would be just OVER THE LINE for me.

 I now need this Winston outfit . . . thanks Oinkster for pointing that out to me.

Just one more baby animal and I'll have all five! (until, you know, we release a few more baby animals that is . . .)

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Four Privateer Henchmen Walk Into a World of Dreams

Last night I decided it was time to level Friendly Thomas for real this time, not like last time on the Test Realm.  I pretty much followed the same path, but it went much faster this time for some reason.


Take that crab boy!

What I didn't personally do on the Test Realm was the new Old Scratch promotion quest, which is also the introduction to the new Skeleton Key bosses. I haven't seen the latest KI Live yet, so the promotion quest was essentially brand new to me.

So I sauntered up to Old Scratch and asked him what that big yellow question mark above his head was all about, and MAN he was really laying the mumbo jumbo down thick!

Settle down, my dude! We got this!

So, as I gathered, there was an "other side" where Evil Old Scratch was working up some evil mojo that would certainly be the doom for a very confused Good Old Scratch. Madame Vadima knew what was up though.  She let us know all about this crazy, alternate dimension we'd never heard of before . . . the world of dreams!  Sounds awesome until you hear about those "Nightmare Doors" on an "Isle of Bones."

Always loved this place . . . nice choice Pirate101 Devs.

No one was around and not knowing what I was in for, I decided . . . what the heck . . . let's give this a whirl.  I jumped in the fight and soon discovered that this looked to be a multiplayer affair. GULP!

Wow . . . the levels on these enemies! YIKES!

Nightmare Old Scratch was no joke as he had a spell that pretty much damaged everything on the board at the start of every round.  My companions were quickly taken out, and I knew I faced certain defeat soon, so what did I do?  I did what every decent human being with a supply of Crowns would do and ordered up a whole team of those level 70 Privateer henchmen!

My own "world of dreams" team!

An old trick of Old Scratch's was to summon up a whole bunch of evil lackeys to fight us, so, lo' and behold, there was nothing better than using Blast of Discord on them round after round thanks to my amazing team of Privateers!

The betrayal! Gasp!

Between that, the bombs, the heals, and everything else a whole team of level 70 Privateers provide, I was able to pull out a win for Team Friendly and, most importantly, my good bud Ol' Scratch, who now has a shiny new promotion look! Woot!

Nice hook upgrade -- looks like you could give someone a good "scratch" with that . . .

I suppose now I just need to level my Privateer and do it all over again because, DANG, that new Old Scratch ability . . . WOW!  That's awesome!

Is this real life?

Happy dueling!