Rise of the Shadow 

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Are you ready to join the battle and stop the Necromancer from destroying the Universe in e-Funsoft's latest Match 3 title?

Alchemy Odyssey Rise of Shadows

Adding to its stream of Match 3 titles, e-Funsoft has released Alchemy Odyssey - Rise of the Shadow.  This latest entry in the company's Match 3 offerings, pits the combined forces of elves, dwarves, hobbit and an alchemist, called Elara, against the Necromancer and those under its control in a fantasy quest.  Available to different players through the use of profiles, the game can be played in either Relaxed or Timed mode as you complete challenges spread over 72 Match 3 levels.

The game's opening sequence introduces you to Elara who, as an alchemist, had embarked on a quest to find rare crystals that will help restore the equilibrium of the universe.  As yet Elara had not realised that the cause of the disturbance was due to the actions of the Necromancer.  The make up of this introduction with its backdrop of scenery, static characters, dialogue delivered by voice actors, and printed in text format, sets the standard for the frequent cut-scenes used throughout the game as the story line develops through the many levels of Match 3 game play.

Spread over five chapters of action, you will be faced with a series of grids containing a specific challenge that will need to be completed.  Positioned centrally in the screen, the grid will be filled with a variety of tiles embellished to suit the subject matter of the game plus other elements providing blockage or helping facilities.  Located to the right of the grid are details of the specific challenge for that level.  This challenge will consist of the type and number of the relevant tiles that will need to be completely removed from the grid.  To the left of the grid is a small selection of power-ups assigned to that level to help remove difficult tiles.

Generally tiles can be removed from the grid by swapping two adjacent tiles in order to create groups of three or more similar tiles.  These tiles then disappear and are replaced by other tiles falling downwards.  In some cases this can cause a cascading effect as other groups are created and maybe disappear. 

There is one type of tiles, making an appearance in certain grids, that will always be included as part of the set challenge, which can not form part of a group for removal.  This is a an artefact which appears in the form of a shield.  In order to remove it, you must create a pathway beneath it so that it will fall to the base of the grid where it can be collected and removed from the grid.

As mentioned you are provided with a small number of power-ups that can deal with tricky situations.  These power-ups , once used, are not replaced during a level but you do have the ability to create additional power-ups.  By creating a group of five or more tiles, you will be rewarded with a bomb that can be used to clear an area.

At the completion of each level, you will be awarded a number of stars which need to be used to purchase upgrades.  Each chapter comes with four upgrades which need to be activated in sequence.  After each upgrades there is a cut-scene which advances the story line with spoken dialogue delivered by static characters.  These scenes do contain a Skip option if you are in a hurry to get back to the Match 3 action.

Overall this is an OK game but nothing really special.  I keep hoping e-Funsoft will introduce some challenging new features but this is yet to happen.  I downloaded my copy of the game from where it is priced at $9.99.  The game requires a 1.5 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 171MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.

Alchemy Odyssey - Rise of Shadows | GameHouse

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OverallAlchemy Odyssey - Rise of the Shadow rated 60 out of 100

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