Monday, 3 June 2013

Dharma Doujou (Arcade)

Dharma Doujou (or should it be "dojo"?) is a puzzle game based on a traditional Japanese children's game called Daruma Otoshi, in which a Daruma doll is placed atop a stack of coloured wooden blocks, which the player must attempt to knock away using a small hammer without letting the tower fall over.
Dharma Doujou combines this with the usual matching colours puzzle game mechanic. Each stage starts with numerous towers of blocks, Daruma dolls and other items, and the player, in the guise of a huge-eyebrowed
hammer-wielding monk, must knock away all the blocks to clear the stage.
When swinging at a row of blocks, the leftmost block of that row is knocked into a chamber beneath the playing field. When this chamber is full, if all the blocks in it are the same, they disappear, if not, they rise up to make a new bottom row in the playfield. At the start of the game, the chamber holds three blocks, though this increases by one every couple of stages.
There are two ways to lose the game: either run out of time, or allow one of the block towers to reach the top of the screen. The time limit, rather than being represented by a traditional clock, is shown by a creature
(the creature, along with the difficulty, changes every two stages and so far I've seen a crab, an oni and a pair of koinobori.) climbing towards a finish line in the top-left corner of the screen.
I highly recommend this game. Though it gets very difficult very quickly, it's also satisfying and fun to play as well as addictive. The developer/manufacturer Metro has made a few interesting arcade games, so expect me to be writing about those too in the future.

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