What if you could gather all of the world’s most famous tourist attractions and put them together in one spot for you to watch for as long as you live? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Well, in World Voyage, a match-3 adventure developed by Sahmon Games, you can do exactly that.
At the start of your quest, you are given a wide and barren land for you to populate with world-famous attractions. Your main objective in this game is to fill up this land as you collect amazing man-made structures during the course of your adventure. From well-known landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal to rarer places like Machu Picchu of Peru and Angkor in Cambodia, this game lets you gather them all in one place, and gives you a chance to revel in the beauty of their constructions as well.
However, before anything else, you have to go through a series of match-3 puzzles, thus introducing the actual gameplay of World Voyage. Your task is to match three or more same-colored balls as you try to clear all locks and tiles present in the game. Matching a locked ball with two or more of its counterparts will release it from its binds, and making a match adjacent to any tile will clear it from the board. Once all locks and tiles have been eliminated, it’s time for you to move on the next level for more of the same repetitive gameplay mechanics. Do all these within the time limit though, or else, you lose one life for each level you fail.
Special tiles marked with a hot-air balloon indicate cards that you can collect for use on a picture puzzle mini-game. Collect all twenty cards across several levels and you’ll automatically enter the mini-game interface after the last level is done. The puzzle awards the structure that you can add to your land afterwards, and aside from the attraction, you also gain one life! Well, it sounds so exciting, but after accumulating life after life, it doesn’t really mean much on later levels.
In fact, the difficulty curve of the game is pretty flat. I admit that during the first few levels, I had a hard time clearing all the obstacles while trying to keep up with the deadline at the same time. Adding to that challenge are the “countdown” balls that will eventually lock up once you make a certain number of moves without matching them first, and you really have to pay attention to them too, because if more are left unlocked, they will form electrical surges that will further hinder you from making matches. But just like what I’ve said earlier, especially when you realize that the game provides quite a number of power-ups for you to use, the challenge eventually disappears for the rest of the experience while you employ the same gaming tactic over and over again.
Speaking of power-ups, World Voyage really goes into overkill mode when it comes to this feature. Aside from the usual bomb and lightning in-game bonuses, you can also level-up five different power-ups representing the five colored balls you match in-game. These power-ups range from giving you more time to letting your luck choose your bonus in a roulette type of chance. But in my opinion, the most-used power-up of those available in the game would be the Combo Meter, which calls for bonus rain, clearing a number of locks and tiles as soon as you get a chance to trigger it up.
While its classic gameplay can be quite addictive, the game still fails in its overall graphical presentation. In other words, visuals are not all that pleasing, and animations are unimpressive, especially on the illustrations of the actual places you get to collect during the picture puzzle mini-game. On the other hand though, there are many things you’ll learn from playing the game as you’re given trivia facts about each landmark’s rich history and background. You get treated to some sounds native to a certain landmark’s location too when you click them, making the whole match-3 exercise quite rewarding.