Match Village Logo
Match Village Icon
Match Village

Developer: Moraes Game Studio

Publisher: QUByte Interactive

  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Mar 14, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    A laid back and casual mix of puzzle and strategy, but that’s also not terribly satisfying for long

    One of the more unusual styles of games I’ve seen that have taken a variety of forms this generation are puzzle or strategy games that obviously have rules of some kind you can observe, but are also never clearly defined. There’s a certain sense of sleuthing and discovery that can have some appeal with these as you end up experimenting in different ways to really get a handle on precisely how they work, but I’d say that their long-term appeal then also tends to be quite limited. That’s where I’ve landed on Match Village, which I found very similar to another indie title called Islanders, but has similarly failed to be interesting for more than a short while.

    Without pretty well any direction at all, you’ll start with a relatively small island which is displayed in a hexagonal grid, and your only option to do anything is to lay down a stack of different types of tiles around the island. The types will vary a bit depending on the ecological makeup of the particular island, but in general you’ll have two goals it turns out. The first is to place similar tiles next to each other in the hopes that they’ll combine, replenishing the upcoming tiles you have to work with and keeping you going. The second is to try to understand how the game’s point system works, which will tally things up and let you know how you’ve done when you run out of tiles to place. Once you have done well enough you’ll also have the option to continue your run on a new island but that can be risky if you don’t have enough tiles built up.

    This will all lead to a small progression as you play through the game a few times, first needing to get the hang of how to strategically place similar tiles so you’re in better control of where the new combined spot will end up. This becomes pretty critical if you want to maximize your space and score. The second is coming to terms with how to manage proximity and scores between specific types of tiles. The thing is, given the relatively simple nature of the game and the overall lack of feedback of real incentives to work it all out, there doesn’t seem to be much compelling you to keep going.

    I suppose the idea is that you’ll continue to challenge yourself to do better and perhaps relax as you lay out your ideal islands just for satisfaction, but given the limited feedback the game provides there seems to be little more than that. Throw in the fact that I feel that I enjoyed the other implementation I’ve seen of this concept in Islanders more, which has nearly identical core mechanics, and I’m struggling a bit with this one. There’s a mild and generally pleasant experience here to be had, just not a very fulfilling one.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.2]

Nindie Spotlight

. All rights reserved