Monday, 2 January 2017

Karian Cross (Arcade)

Karian Cross is yet another Korean arcade game, but I think it's by far the most professionally-made and high quality Korean arcade game I've yet featured on this blog. It's a typical versus-style colour matching puzzle game, with chains and junk blocks and all the usual hallmarks that come with the genre. Obviously, though, it does have one unique mechanical element to call its own, and it does display a pretty high standard of presentation, too.

The basic tactics are pretty much a total rip of Puyo Puyo: get three or more blocks of the same colour touching, and they'll disappear, then those above will fall, and if those match too, they'll disappear and so on. Racking up big chains in this manner means dumping lots of junk blocks on your opponent. The first to fill their well up to the top with blocks loses. The unique factor comes in the form of the junk blocks themselves: they're normal coloured blocks, trapped in transparent cubes, and when normal blocks disappear next to them, they're freed from the cubes. Of course, if they match, they disappear.

So a smart player can (and will have to) include the junk blocks in any planning they do while preparing chains. Complicating matters somewhat is the fact that, like a lot of similar games that have multiple playable characters, each character dumps junk blocks on their opponents in different patterns. An interesting twist Karian Cross puts on this is that some characters will have junk blocks coming in from the sides or bottom of the well, as well as falling from the top.

As for the presentation, it's generally of a high quality, with well-drawn characters and backgrounds, and a nice general theme of medieval european fantasy holding everything together. There's one really great little touch in particular, in that each character has differently-shaped blocks: some characters have swords or axes, others have gems or different kinds of fruit, and so on. It gives the impression that unlike a lot of Korean videogames, especially arcade titles, it was made with some real care and passion put into it, and not just as a cheap cash in.

It's always hard when it comes to recommending puzzle games of this type. Most of them are good, sometimes even great, but the problem is, they're all also really similar, and the truth is that the Puyo Puyo and Magical Drop series and Money Puzzle Exchanger are so good, any games that want to offer competition have to offer something really special. Unfortunately, Karian Cross is yet another example of a good puzzle game that just can't compete with the titans at the top of the genre.

No comments:

Post a Comment