Developed By: PIXELAKES LLC
Published By: PIXELAKES LLC
Platforms: Steam PC and Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch without dock
First of all, working life is like a puzzle in itself, that is why I prefer a casual way of gaming such as an endless grind. Therefore puzzle games aren’t really my thing but keeping an open mind a well made game can make fans out of people who aren’t into the genre. But hey its retro and I like retro games so why not give it a shot right?.
Second of all, I will have to admit that I have been playing it all in solo play due to lack of players at the current moment. I may write a second review on multiplayer aspects if the gameplay differs or really changes with other players.
Treasure Stack is at its core exactly what it sounds like, a puzzle game in where you stack two similar coloured treasure chests (purple/green/blue/brown) as it falls from the top like Tetris onto similar coloured chests that have been provided to the player to start out with. You play as an avatar of your choosing which runs at the bottom of the screen and use grapple hooks to immediately pull the treasure chests down or wait until the chests drop to strategically stack and clear the treasures. The player will occasionally be given coloured keys or power-up drops to break open locked chests or have the option of using the same colour chests placed next to each other (forming a combo). The player will be tasked to stack chests before the timer fills up with the added difficulty of the game dropping black boxes to sabotage your efforts. Players will then lose once the chests stack to the top of the screen.
The trailer below will provide you with better insight:
Why am I adamant in placing stories in a puzzle game? It is because playing this game alone brings forth the games interesting concept that the developer is trying to deliver. As trying to be different is the main core belief, why not add more story, progression, to increase value and actually make it more valuable than any other similar puzzlers out there?
They only had one music track and it drove me nuts to hear it again and again and again on each playthrough. It’s preferable to have bit more variety in music or even mixing it up with the classic tense music buildup as soon as you are about the lose the level. it provides a sense of suspense and urgency for the player.
I am a sucker for retro 2D pixelated graphics hence the game is doing fairly well in terms of design. Hence, I am giving it a fair 50/50 as it may be appreciated by a certain group of gamers. While others may disagree as there is nothing new presented in the dungeon design itself as it doesn’t provide any variety.
The only progression available to the player is racking up points as you play the game which will be converted into experience points after each game. The points are then filled to open a treasure chest which unlocks new avatar character designs and a variety of grapple hooks such as books, a shield or potions. Now, this may seem fine and dandy but that’s just about it, there are no other power-ups to equip/explore, avatars with diff stats to try on (as it is purely cosmetic) or grapple hooks with different abilities when changing to a potion or a shield. Therefore, it fails to stack up interest in the long run such as lack of dungeon variety or level variety to choose from whether it is for casual play or hardcore and lacks a good medieval RPG based elements of Dungeons and Dragons.
How does it stack up? (Verdict)
It is quite fun at the beginning and the learning curve is pretty steep with an initial brief tutorial given. After which, the game paces faster and more frantic with your efforts to clear as many chests as you can. Controls are pretty basic with the jump (B) and hook/pick up using the same button (Y). But that’s about it with no new incentive to push me further in terms of progression and maintaining interest in the long run.
What I liked
- Retro cute graphics
- Interesting take in the Tetris tile genre concept
- Pretty challenging
What I Disliked
- Lack of variety in music
- Needs more story or progression elements other than design alone
- Lack of elements for more potential to grow such as power-ups, Avatar usage or RPG elements
- Lack of level variety to choose from
- Lack of dungeon designs