Space Journey – Tic-Tac-Toe, Three in a row!

SpaceJourneySS00 Okay so maybe it’s not tic-tac-toe, and maybe it’s not strictly in a row, but it is at least three or more.  Yes I’m talking about the dreaded Match-3 games!  Yes this is my first Match-3 review.  And also yes I may review more.  Why are they dreaded?  Well technically they’re not.  It’s just there’s a lot of them.  And people are making a lot of money off of them.

You see once upon a time there was a game called Tetris (remember that, heck they’re still making versions of that very same game that’s probably almost, if not over, twenty years old).  Tetris had a formidable legal struggle, with different versions.  I don’t think the original creator even got much money off of it, even though it sold a lot and still sells today.  Then one day a big evil corporation, let’s call them Hasbeen, somehow got the rights to Tetris.  They started suing every single company they could that had a game even close to Tetris.  Eventually it got settled, and no one had the right to do anything with the name “tris” on the end, and make money on it.  Well about that time people started creating other “falling block” games.  Including a mechanic for matching three of the same items.  These later became known as “Match-3” games because of matching three or more elements in the game play.  Finally a company named Popcap developed a game called “Bejeweled”, and this sort of sparked the casual game revolution.  If you want to argue any of these statements, please do it in the comments of this post.  Thanks.SpaceJourneySS02

Okay enough with the quasi history lesson and on with the review!  Today I’m reviewing a game called Space Journey.  Space Journey is somewhat unique for me because I haven’t been playing match-three’s all these years, so there may be others like it.  What’s interesting to me is that the board is set up like sort of an isometric view.  (Now don’t go telling me that this isn’t technically isometric, I said sort of, and really it’s just what makes me think of isometric.)  Anyhoo, it’s set up like a space flight with 5 “planets’” to explore. I’ve only gotten to stage 7 of the first level (planet).  After a little intro showing the path your ship takes, you are shown the board.  So we have these colored tiles on the board, and a little “bouncing ball”.  You simply have to click on colors with three or more to remove them.  Pretty simple.  But there are a few things of note, you have an energy bar, which depletes as you progress.  And a level progress bar.  You simply fill up the progress bar by making matches as quick as possible.  Sometimes the level is timed, which means your progress bar goes down as well as your energy bar.  Another level is a non-timed blackout type level with undo’s.  This is pretty good and keeps it nice and varied.  There are also some power ups accessed by landing on a tile with a star hovering above it.  There’s randomize which isn’t exactly a power up, but mixes it up a little.  Especially if you can’t find matches easy enough.  There’s sniper, where the tiles that can be matched light up, for you to spot easier, and there is a bomb, which removes a bunch of tiles.SpaceJourneySS03

Space Journey is pretty dang addicting, and it doesn’t seem to get boring, however there are some issues.  There are some grammatical errors which is due to the fact that developers are (I believe, and the developers can correct me if I’m wrong) Russian.  Each level starts with a little bit of text explaining what the goals are and give you extra tips.  The downside to this is sometimes they don’t tell you what everything does.  What all the power ups are, etc.  A big problem is also it’s lack of documentation either in the game itself, or a separate text file.  Don’t get me wrong, the game is easy enough to learn, you just essentially click on stuff.  It would have been nice, however, if they had provided some instructions, or a little bit about what’s in it.  I think they figured that the little help text at the start of each level was enough.  Now this is really a big deal for people who aren’t really computer savvy.  For others it shouldn’t be much of a problem.  I do see where this could lead to missed sales.  I would recommend this however on the game itself, because it’s addicting (I swear I kept playing level six, saying I could beat it soon, and then two hours had passed, and it was so late I had to shut down for the night.)SpaceJourneySS04

Now I didn’t say much about the graphics.  The graphics are really pleasant and colorful.  The backgrounds show interesting star fields, with asteroids flying in the background, but it didn’t take away from the game itself.  Some show ships and planets.  The menu effects are really nice.  At the end of a completed level the thing turns gray before the next level pops up.  A new level sort of fades in as the tiles fall into place.  If you lose the board explodes around the edges from outside in.  The sounds are not at all annoying, and the music does help keep you tense (not a bad kind of tense either).  In my opinion the game is very good.  So if you test it out, and find lack of instructions really make you not want to play, I’m going to say give it a chance, play a few levels until it gets hard, you won’t regret it.SpaceJourneySS05

Name: Space Journey

Developer: Funkee Games

Price: $4.99

Final Analysis:  A really fun game which may be hampered by lack of instructions and grammatical errors, even if well done.

Where to get it: Funkee Games Website

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply