“An old classic puzzle/match-3 made HD and Avatar-Enabled!”
An XboxHornet review by WDesm.
Back in late June, we previewed Runic 3D, talking with the devs at Executive Iguana Studios about their upcoming 3D puzzler. Now that it’s landed, we’ve had a chance to both take it for a test drive, and even scrounge up a free copy for a giveaway (so pay attention!).
Runic 3D is built on the framework of the previous indie game, Runic, which followed all the same mechanics, albeit with less flair and features. The game grid on each puzzle-stage comes already scattered with a variety of runes, and you can slide a new rune from one end of the board. Should three of the same rune link up, then all three are destroyed (they do not need to be in a straight line). The goal is to clear enough of the board so that you can uncover and destroy all of the “god runes”, usually buried in the center of the grid, before the timer runs out.
The game comes with two game modes – The “story mode” includes four different puzzle collections called quests (with a fifth unlockable), while the Timed mode is included to challenge your quick wit after you’ve mastered the basics. The story modes are appropriately themed for the Norse runes, with the names of Loki, Freyja, Thor and Odin. Each quest contains 10 challenging levels, and if all four quests are completed, ‘Valhalla’ is unlocked.
Runic 3D is fairly feature rich, as it includes local multiplayer support, with the second player able to play through the same levels at the same time (cooperatively) as the first, as well as importing your Avatar to dance along with your success. To round out the thrill of playing and replaying the game, trophies are awarded for completing the quests, and your high score on each mode is recorded in a local-only scoreboard. While it’s probably not a deal-maker or deal-breaker for most people, the lack of an online scoreboard can really detract from a game’s replayability, although the inclusion of one in even a local-only form is appreciated.
Before your thirst for a new puzzler drives you to insta-buy this title, let me offer this caveat: This game is barely playable on an SDTV. I often run into games (be they disc-based, XBLA, or XBLIG) that suffer a little on an SDTV, but Runic 3D is one of those titles that nearly requires a higher definition. Runes can become very blurry on the lower resolution, and while it is not impossible, you’ll certainly need your eagle eyes peeled. Other than that caveat, Runic 3D is a whole lot of game (nearly fifty puzzles in all) for that low 80MSpoints. The puzzles don’t have any randomization features, so a super-puzzle-sleuth might burn through the entirety of them in a few hours, but for us average folks, it’s a whole lot of brain candy.
Game Score: 7/10.
Download a free demo of the game here.
And for those wondering about the contest, here it is:
Post in this thread whether you are more excited for Avatar Pinball or Runic 3D, the two most recent Avatar-enabled XBLIG titles that I’ve reviewed. All votes for Avatar Pinball will be entered into a draw for Avatar Pinball, while all votes for Runic 3D will be entered into a draw for Runic 3D. You may not vote for both. The contest will be chosen based on random dice roll, and ends Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 9PM PST.