Fans of 3-in-a-row games looking for a relaxing puzzler to waste away a lazy afternoon might not be disappointed with Season Match – but it’s very easy game-play and slow pacing might bore more players than enthrall them.
The story involves a malicious Snow Queen who decides to make cold winter stay forever in this fairy land after her magic mirror breaks. This is where you come in. You set out on an epic quest to find the pieces of the broken mirror and put them together to defeat the Snow Queen. To do so, you enlist the wisdom of three beautiful princesses – emerald spring, blossoming summer and golden autumn – to help make your way to the Snow Queen’s castle to beat her once and for all.
In both the main Quest mode (timed levels) and Relaxed mode (no timer), your goal is the same: click on a batch of three or more adjacent gems, which causes them to disappear, making room for more jewels to cascade down the screen. Therefore, you’re not swapping gems (a la Bejeweled), nor are you linking adjacent stones to make a lengthy chain (such as Heroes of Hellas) – you’re simply clicking on the same grouped-together colors to remove them (like Super Collapse! or QBeez).
The bigger is the group you click on, the higher your score; the level is completed when all highlighted squares have been used to make a match (such as ones with backgrounds that need to be destroyed).
Each level has its own unique layout shape, magical power-ups that can help you remove them faster (either individually or a complete column) and obstacles that get in the way of your goal. In the main Quest mode you can collect coins to add some time to the meter.
Problem is, the game really doesn’t go anywhere. It’s very, very easy (anecdotally, even my 3-year-old got to level 5 before he got bored), so gamers might feel a sense of repetition and monotony after an hour of play or so. Even when you complete one season and move onto the next, you’re likely to think “um, ok, so what’s new here?”
You can, however, collect a number of trophies to view any time from the main menu. In total, the game offers 260 levels, with a bonus of extra 100 levels if you collect all the trophies.
Season Match isn’t a horrible experience, but with so many other – and better – 3-in-a-row games available, you just might find this one average at best. At the very least, download the free trial and give the puzzler a spin to see if you find yourself enchanted with this interactive fairy tale.