Remember when Puzzle Quest successfully blended the match-three puzzle genre with RPG mechanics? It ended up spawning numerous games that attempted to copy the formula. 10,000,000 is a similar puzzle game of sorts that first saw its release on iOS devices and has now made its way to Steam.
The premise of 10,000,000 is quite simple. You're an adventurer stuck in a cave and your freedom lies within acquiring 10,000,000 points. The challenge lies within running the dungeon itself. Each run turns into a match three game where matching swords and staves does damage, keys open locks, bags give you loot to utilize during your runs and stones and wood are used to build and upgrade rooms to upgrade your little adventurer. The biggest change from the standard match-three formula though is that instead of swapping tiles, you're moving entire columns, both horizontally and vertically at once. This change up will certainly require some time getting used to, but makes the game that much more challenging.
It's a simple premise and yet it manages to keep you entertained with all its slight nuances. Every dungeon run shows your character running and battling on the top of the screen. The faster you defeat enemies and unlock keys and doors, the longer you'll last in each level. Take one too many hits or take too long with matching up pieces, and you'll slowly start moving towards the left of the screen until you lose. It's a tense race against time that makes each run just as exciting as the previous.
To keep things interesting, there are always three missions to partake in while running a dungeon. Some of those include matching a certain amount of tiles, getting triple matches, only killing enemies with either swords or staves, etc. Completing these missions not only gives you a nice boost of EXP and money, you also gain an adventurer rank that allows you to build more upgrade rooms.
These rooms are absolutely essential as your progress through the game. As you gain rank, enemies get tougher to kill, so you'll need to upgrade your equipment. Everything from upgrading your sword damage, magic damage, even your armor is necessary if you want to survive long enough. The amassed EXP can then be spent on various upgrades to your little adventurer such as gaining 10% more EXP per monster, time bonus when matching certain tiles, or even reducing the cost of building upgrades. There are also various potions and elixirs that modify the way the game works. For example, if you want to just focus on getting the most amount of building materials, you can choose a potion that grants 50% extra wood and stone at the expense of gaining any EXP.
To round out this completely addictive package are the charming lo-fi graphics as well as the retro soundtrack. It's a game that doesn't rely on graphical flair, and yet manages to exude crazy amounts of personality.
However, despite being able to play this on a bigger monitor, the game really is much better suited for touchscreen controls. Since the game relies on sliding entire colums horizontally and vertically, it sometimes results in imprecise mouse movements. Many times I have move the column too far and let go, only for it to reset back to its original position and therefore I lost out on precious time. The game's not impossible with a mouse, however it's easy to see why it shines on mobile devices.
Each and every aspect of 10,000,000 combines into an addictive experience that will have you say "Just one more dungeon run."