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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: Matchstick Memories (iOS)

Hands On: Matchstick Memories (iOS)
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NewsPoster
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Dec 2, 2014, 08:55 AM
 
It wasn't long ago that the match-three and puzzle genre were thought to be one-trick ponies. Games like Bejeweled are popular, but lacking for long-term play. However, developers are now using these overlooked genres to create new games with deep story lines and interesting game mechanics. One such game is Matchstick Memories by CH Buckingham.

Matchstick Memories is an unusual puzzle game. It combines a role-playing text adventure with match-three puzzle elements. The player is dropped into a world where the population have amnesia and are trying to regain their memories. To do this, they explore the overgrown, decayed world they awoke into and attempt to collect matchboxes.



The game plays partly as a "choose your own adventure" and partly as a match-three style puzzler. By solving simple puzzles, the player can uncover bits of their memories. Frequently, the game gives the player an option to solve a puzzle in multiple ways, allowing them to match certain tiles of one color to pick up an item, or choose a direction to go in. This allows the player to have an element of control over the storyline.



Perhaps the most surprising thing about the app is the simultaneous feeling of frustration and reward it manages to create. There are speed-based puzzles in which the player must rapidly solve a puzzle to escape danger, lending a sense of urgency to the game. There are puzzles that must be completed in a set amount of moves, usually when the character must try to navigate a tricky landscape, which helps emulate the feeling of not making any mis-steps, lest the character fall. Upon failing puzzles, the player is often left to do a longer, more menial task in attempt to partially recall a memory, but when a player succeeds, the reward is often great.



Matchstick Memories is a great example of what can be done with the match-three and puzzle genres if developers think outside of the box. The title is available for both iPad and iPhone. The first half of the story is free, but unlocking the entire package will cost users $3.

Who would like Matchstick Memories:
The player that craves more out of the standard match-three and puzzle genres, those who like text adventures

Who wouldn't like Matchstick Memories:
Those who prefer games with more action, those who dislike puzzle games

-- Amber Neely (@SurferAmber)
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Dec 3, 2014 at 07:13 AM. )
     
Jeronimo2000
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Dec 2, 2014, 09:00 AM
 
Sorry to be nitpicking, but... a review of obscure iOS game is not a "hands on", no matter how many obscure iOS games you may be reviewing.

Seriously, MacNN – I applaud your desire to offer original content instead of rehashing press releases or copy/pasting from Engadget etc., but this whole "review" thing doesn't feel like it's taking off.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Dec 2, 2014, 10:19 AM
 
It actually is taking off -- but sorry you don't care for it. I do welcome the input, though.

The App Store is the wild west. These little bites of obscure titles point out some of the nicer things we've found -- because as we all know, there's a lot of crap.

Jeronimo, if you don't like these, what do you like to see?
     
Jeronimo2000
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Dec 2, 2014, 10:40 AM
 
Good point, and thanks for honoring my snarky comment with a reply it probably didn't deserve.

What do I like to see? Certainly not product reviews, there's other sites that are doing that and have gotten really good at it (the video reviews on The Verge come to mind). Instead, remember what one of those "N"s in MacNN stand for and focus on news, but not the aforementioned rehashed press releases.

Distinguish yourselves by putting Apple-related news in context, going a bit deeper than other sites, offering a unique (and critical, if appropriate) perspective. I know that's easier said than done, but - hey, you asked.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Dec 2, 2014, 10:48 AM
 
There's actually a thread in the forums about this, that's been read a whole bunch of times, but not a lot of commentary, so this is good.

I feel we do a better job of looking into things than most, but perhaps we do it better over on the Electronista side - e.g. the Nintendo emulation patent. We tested the crap out of the whole massive amount of apps thing, broke some other stories about problems with Yosemite, YouTube, and some other issues. We're also snark-lite (except with some forum responses!).

So, I guess what I'm saying is, the app looks are in parallel with the other improvements that we're still working on. Amber is our new hire from the request for app reviewers we put forth about two months ago, so she's not detracting from the news crew or a repurposed employee at all.
     
Jeronimo2000
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Dec 2, 2014, 11:53 AM
 
Thanks for getting back.

To return to my original "issue": you mentioned "app looks" in your last paragraph, which I take it refers to those iOS game/app reviews. I like that much better than "Hands on", so why not call it "App Look"? And keep "Hands on" for the articles where you actually do lay hands on, say, a just-released Mac or something like that.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Dec 2, 2014, 12:37 PM
 
Its still a work in progress. Got lots of wrinkles to iron out still!
     
CHBuckingham
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Dec 2, 2014, 02:35 PM
 
I, for one, whole heartedly
support reviewing odd indie
iOS games based in cryptic
stories and puzzles

*grins*
---
Game Developer
Heavy Handed Games
     
Amber Neely
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Dec 3, 2014, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by CHBuckingham View Post
I, for one, whole heartedly
support reviewing odd indie
iOS games based in cryptic
stories and puzzles

*grins*
I actually just wanted to say thanks for a really enjoyable play, CH! I had a lot of fun reviewing the app, and I still play it daily.

And to Jeronimo2000:

Thanks for the feedback, though I'm sorry you're not a big fan of the app reviews. Hopefully you still have a reason to hang around here because there's certainly more than just app reviews. And Mike's got a point about Electronista. There's a lot of news going on over there.
     
   
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