Saving Etherpoint City
But Duskless – The Clockwork Army, as well as increasing the mechanical force as its focus, is a different kettle of fish. Rather than an adventure game, Duskless – The Clockwork Army is a Match 3 game.
With a cast list that includes King William, Hiro a young inventor, Jane a fighting warrior and the evil Professor Bazel, this steampunk game challenges you to save Etherpoint City from Professional Bazel’s plans involving his band of killer robots. When playing this game, profiles can be created for individual players. These profiles can contain the volume levels for background music and sound effects including spoken dialogue plus whether to play in full screen mode and make use of a tutorial. The game can be played in either Relaxed or Timed mode over a series of five chapters filled with Match 3 gaming.
The standard format of Match 3 game play is used in this game as you attempt to meet the challenges set by each of the grids that appear in this game. Taking over most of the screen area, each grid contains a variety of embellished tiles plus an occasional blocked cell to add a degree of difficulty to the game. To create a Match 3 group of three or more tiles of the same type, you will need to swap two adjacent tiles. The matched group will then disappear, to be replaced by other tiles falling downwards to fill the vacated space.
Adding to the difficulty of the Match 3 aspect of the game, some of the tiles will be bound by a single or double strand of chains that will need to be removed by included in a Match 3 group prior to the tiles removal. There are also cells that are filled in so that they block the required passage when making a match. From time to time wandering spiders and stationary balloons will make an appearance. The spiders will turn cells into webs while balloons can be busted to reveal their content which can then be used in a matched group.
Arranged around the grid are various pieces of information and tools that can prove useful. Running across the top of the grid is the challenging target for the particular level being played. This target will consist of thumbnail images of the type of tiles and the number to be targeted. As progress is made the number will decrease with a message appearing to signify when the task is completed. Alongside the level challenge is the current score and level number while a running total of the various tiles collected, representing different elements, appear to the top tight of the grid.
As usual with Match 3 games, various power-up options are available. In the case of Duskless – The Clockwork Army, these power-ups are displayed to the left of the grid. However before they can be used, the power-ups will need to be charged by making the relevant matches within the grid. Once charged, a power-up can be dragged over on to the designated area of the grid to do its work. Included among the power-ups are a Hammer, Magnet, Energy capsule, Bomb and Lightning gun.
As mentioned earlier, the game is spread over five chapters, covering different areas of Etherpoint City, with you taking on the role of Hiro, the young inventor, in his attempt to defeat Professor Bazel and his killer robots. In order to complete each chapter, Hiro will need to build up enough collected elements so that four upgrades can be purchased as he retakes control of the city for Prince William. You are not permitted to move on to the next chapter until the current selection of updates has been purchased.
At various intervals, the game’s developers have inserted conversational interludes between King William, Hiro and Jane. In each case, the participants will be displayed as static images with the dialogue being printed in text format and spoken by voice actors. You can either work through each section of dialogue with mouse clicks or select a skip option which was generally my choice.
As the tiles used in this game are for the rather small size, it does help if your display screen is of a reasonable high standard. I found the game was better suited to a new laptop rather than slightly ancient desktop model.
I downloaded my copy of the game from Gamehouse.com where it can be purchased for $9.99. The game requires a 1.5 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 662MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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