Is it a Match made in heaven?
My previous review of a Nintendo Switch game was one that played out very much like Angry Birds. This time, it’s not angry birds, but Azkend 2: The World Beneath is one game for all you Bejewled, Candy Crush fans out there. In it’s core it is a match-3 game that offers quite a lot of fun if you like those style of games. I’ll be honest, I can take or leave this sort of genre but with the hours I put in with this, I was surprised at how much fun I did actually have.
The good thing about Azkend 2: The World Beneath is that it isn’t just some typical match-3 kind of game. It has a story attached to it that keeps you involved along the way. The main protagonist is on a ship travelling from Liverpool to New York when her shit is pulled into a maelstrom, where you wake up beneath the world of civilization. It is your job the player to complete the puzzles and return her to civilization. It’s not a deep story, it’s quite straight forward but it did keep me interested until the very end.
One thing I will give the game a lot of credit for is the beautiful artwork that accompanies you with each scene between a level. You can see the level of detail that has been put in and it really does shine as you make your way through the beneath of earth right back up to normal credit. The developers have obviously put a lot a care into their work and it does show throughout the game. There is one woman that voices the protagonist throughout and I’d say her performance is OK. It could of been better at times but for the type of game this is, I don’t think there will be many complaints from all quarters.
Of course, all of the action is within the levels in the game. There are 17 stages overall, but you must complete a number of levels in that stage in order to get to the next stage. Some stages will require 4 levels to be completed, some 2 etc etc. After each stage there was a little mini-game where you have to find certain things in the picture but I had no idea what to do and it didn’t seem to effect the outcome in anyway, so a tutorial or that being left out altogether would of been better I think.
I found that using the Switch in its handheld mode rather than full TV mode was better when I was playing this. I seemed to be able to see the matches better on the smaller screen (that might just be self-preference, others may feel different). You are helped on each stage with a tutorial that will explain the basic concepts of what you have to do and then you are given free reign to complete that level. However, you are only given a certain amount of time to do each level and some levels you will have bugs instead of time, and if you let them roam free for long enough, you’ll have to restart the level.
I had a lot of fun with each stage however, I didn’t really feel much of a repetitive nature throughout. The more you chain together, the more it’ll do your cause good. If you can get 6 or more of the same symbols, a lighting strike will help you with some of the blocks in the map. Also, if you can get a few good matches together, you’ll light up a lightning beacon which is shown at the top of the screen. If you manage to light them all, it will again help you in your level with multiple lightning strikes which will show up more matches than before. The aim is to get the piece that you are collecting (bits of the ship that were broken) down to the bottom of the screen in order for you to complete that part of the stage. Like I said, I had more fun with this than I thought I would, so I definitely recommend you give it a go at some stage.
A Nintendo Switch review code was provided by 10tons.