Chainz Galaxy is the best Chainz game to date.
At its heart, Chainz Galaxy isn’t all that different from the rest of the Chainz series: it’s a pleasantly creative twist on the match-three formula, that has you matching chain links together instead of matching gems. And that’s just fine. Because with a number of new modes, a goofy story and fun visuals, Galaxy is also the best game in the series to date.
The core mechanic will feel very familiar to both series veterans, and anyone who has ever played a match-three game before. So chances are you’ll grasp the concept pretty quickly. The game board is full of colored chain links, and you’ll need to clear them away by matching up chains consisting of three or more same-colored links. And it’s the chain mechanic that makes this series different from similar games. Some links only have two ends, so they can only connect with other links either up and down or left and right. But some have four, so you can link up every side, letting you create huge chains that snake around the level. The links don’t automatically disappear, so you have a brief moment to create a super-sized chain before it clears away.
Unlike most puzzle games, you’re not just matching colors randomly, you’re doing it for a reason. There’s a loose and silly story that holds the main mode together and has you literally creating the world. There are a whole bunch of squawking robed men, who look suspiciously like Jesus, and they need golden chains to make Earth. Each stage has a meter on the right hand side and when it fills up the level is complete. But that gauge then turns in to a golden chain, which the Jesus’ to create land, sky, oceans, and more. It’s silly, sure, but it’s also surprisingly satisfying watching the world take shape.
Like any good puzzle game, Galaxy has a healthy dose of power-ups that you can utilize. There are bomb links that explode when cleared, icy links that freeze the whole board for a brief ten seconds so that you can make insanely huge chains, and more. These are all incredibly useful, and often create massive combos of disappearing chains. You’ll also be able to collect “shuffles,” which do pretty much just what the name implies. If you run out of moves, or, if you just don’t like the look of the current board, you can use a shuffle to rearrange it, hopefully giving you some better options.
With great core gameplay and a number of fun power-ups, Galaxy is a very enjoyable, fast-paced puzzle experience. Problem is, there really isn’t much of a challenge. The power-ups can be a little too useful, clearing out large sections of the game board in one move, but even without them Galaxy is an easy game. You’ll rarely come to a point where you’re frustrated because you’ve run out of moves, and the difficulty barely increases as you progress. The boards get a little more complicated, but not enough to create a meaningful challenge. Thankfully, there are a number of solid and engaging extra modes that you can unlock, including arcade and strategy. But in order to play them you’ll first need to play through large portions of the very easy story mode.
If there was one problem with the first two Chainz games, it’s that they were downright dull to look at. Thankfully, Galaxy doesn’t have this problem. The intergalactic theme means each stage takes place on a nice, starlit background, and the various special effects used when matching gems are flashy and fun. Even the cut-scenes are enjoyable to watch. Seeing a group of squat, cute, and downright goofy Jesus lookalikes is surprisingly funny, as is watching them use chains to literally pull the world together.
Chainz Galaxy is almost everything you could want from a puzzle game: it’s fun, has lots of great power-ups, a healthy selection of enjoyable game modes, and even a cute and silly presentation. But it’s missing that one crucial factor that gives a puzzle game its staying power: challenge. Without it, Galaxy is good but not great, but still an excellent time waster for match-three fanatics.