The adorable imps return for a third time in Magic Match Adventures, the latest game in the quirky Magic Match series. This time, rather than just telling a story, we peek inside the imps’ lives in the land of Arcania and give them a hand when they need it. Just wave the wand over the troubled imp and everything’s A-OK again.
The imps work and play hard, but then evil comes along and takes something away from them. It may stop the wind so a little imp can’t fly his kite, steal items for sale from two imps’ tables, or break a machine the imps use to get work done. You watch evil take out the imps with horror, then run to the Magic Realm – which is represented by match-three game – to collect red potion to create a spell to help the imps in trouble.
As soon as you collect enough red potion to make the spell, you can cast it upon the struggling imps, watch the spell take effect, and receive a thank you bonus. The match-three game contains elements with a number for each. That numbers mean you need to destroy that many of each element. The first level in each kingdom usually has four elements, and more elements become available as you advance.
Magic Match Adventures‘ matching works similarly to Cradle of Persia‘s. Whatever direction you make the match in, the pieces behind it follow to fill up the space. As found in most matching games, pieces freeze and wood or rocks get in the way to make it hard to find matches. Coins, potions, and power-ups also act as any element. For example, you select two bird feet, a coin and a potion; it counts for four bird feet.
While the tiles have different colors under the elements like most matching games, the goal isn’t to destroy them, but rather get as many as you can. The tiles come in green, blue, and neutral. The green and blue tiles contain mana for building up your blue and green potions. Four of the eight spells use the green mana and four use the blue mana. Every spell costs points and the game deducts those points from the green or blue mana depending on which spell you use.
The game has three different colored beakers: red, blue, and green. Blue and green add to your mana score. Red doesn’t appear until you’ve cleared an element. The biggest frustration comes with the blue and green mana spells and power-ups. It takes practice to figure out what happens as the instructions don’t always make it apparent. Only three or four spells are worth using. It’s better to skip some spells and save your points for the important ones when you need them.
You travel through different kingdoms in Arcania beginning with water followed by Earth, air, and fire. Every kingdom comes with its own story, but if you’re not interested you can skip it and go right to the Magic Realm.
A new evil wizard appears in each kingdom along with a Dark-O-Meter counter. The Dark-O-Meter displays the number of evil spells you need to thwart before dueling the evil wizard in the “sort of” mini-game. In the duel, you and the evil wizard take turns making matches to get the needed elements. Whoever clears all of the elements first wins the duel. The duel game has fewer barriers than the regular one, but the evil wizard creates a few barriers with mean tricks.
Upon defeating the evil wizard, the imps celebrate and you move on to the next kingdom receiving a new background behind the grid and new elements for a breath a fresh air. The game doesn’t have lives, so when failing in a duel or a level, you can just replay it.
The music adds a nice touch to the game’s peppy and colorful atmosphere. Unfortunately, just when you get the hang of the game and its rules, it’s almost over. It only has 33 levels and takes about a day to play. Magic Match Adventures doesn’t have other modes, but its matching game would make a fine arcade game. Players earn new ranks as they reach scoring milestones. Once finishing the game, you’ve earned all the titles.
Since the game comes with a trophy room and players won’t necessary win all the trophies after completing the game, it might motivate some to replay the game to find those missing trophies. But other than that, why play it again? Regardless, the adventure is worth the trip.
Some imps will interact when you click on them. Click the drummer and he keeps beating the drum with one stick. Click the singer and notes fly. It would enhance fun and cute factor if the game had more interaction with the imps — sort of blending a doll house and game in one package.
Magic Match Adventures brings a few new things to the matching arena with the duel, helping the imps, and different rules from a typical matching game. Players have plenty of chances to put strategies to work. If you’d rather have fun and not think too much, it’s possible to succeed — it just may take longer. To paraphrase the opening song, Magic Match and matching game fans will enjoy the Imp World and its great wondrous land. They await you to give them a hand.