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After the Battle
Having missed the original title of “Rune Stones Quest”, I can only guess at the ferocity of the battles and destruction caused as the Dwarves fought the evil sorcerer in this game. Fortunately the follow up offering, appropriately entitled “Rune Stones Quest 2” gives you the opportunity to put right the damage caused to the Dwarves Kingdom in the first game.
Giving the dust and stench of war time to settle, and allowing the remaining dwarves time to grieve, the chance has come to start the rebuilding of the devastated settlements and restore the mines and cities of the mountain people. After gathering together the necessary supplies, tools and ancient manuscripts, you join a squad of dwarves as they move to the north of the mountains to restore the oldest settlement with its richest mines and fertile grounds. Are you up to the challenge?
Before setting out on the challenge of playing 80 levels of Match 3 action, you can make certain adjustments to the gaming environment. You can set the volume levels for background music and sound effects plus choose the screen resolution. Other options are available to play in full screen mode with anti-aliasing turned on. While the game can be played with a timed feature, you can turn off this aspect as you play the game in Easy, Normal or Hard level of difficulty.
On arriving at this settlement you are presented with the first of many tasks required for the rebuilding project. While each grid, made up of tiles embellished with appropriate icons relating to the current task, will have its own challenge, the basic game play will be the same. You will need to create groups of 3 or more similarly decorated groups of tiles by swapping two adjacent tiles. The group of tiles will then disappear and be replaced by other tiles dropping downwards.
While that might sound simple enough, the game does throw in one or two features to make life more difficulty. In some cases the tiles do have a similar appearance and it is quite easy to confuse them. I am thinking in particular of axes, shovels, pickaxes and trowels. They do look very similar when displayed as icons in a grid.
While being consistent with the two adjacent tile swapping rule, this game does present the player with a variety of challenges. You might be asked to collect a set number of tiles of a particular type representing resources you need to complete a particular building or clear a field for future use. The tiles you need to collect are not always initially visible. They could be concealed behind a darken area and would need to be uncovered by being included in a matched group. In total the game features five different types of challenges.
In true Match 3 fashion, Rune Stones Quest 2 makes use of power-ups and hindrances. Both types of elements appear as tiles within the grid either, in the case of the hindrances,, which are referred to as Pests, at the start of the kevel or as a result of creating matches with more than three tiles in the group. If three of the Pests get together then they have the effect of blocking your view of part of the grid as they carry out their tasks. You are not stopped from creating matches, it is just sometimes difficult to see what you are doing. The created power-ups consist of explosive fire, hammer, lightning and magic water which can be used to tackle parts of a grid.
On some levels you get the chance to operate as different characters. You could work as a Chief, Miner, Librarian or worker as you complete an appropriate task. Once the initial task has been completed then you can move on and tackle the tasks assigned to other characters.
While the graphics used to produce the grids were fine, I felt that the animations as two adjacent tiles were swapped were rather jerky, and not up to the standard I was expecting. At the conclusion of each completed grid you are presented with a report of your achievements. This report covers the time taken, number of matched items, bonuses and Pests activated plus how many items collected. The rebuilding or restoration work will have been added to the settlement without showing you the work in progress. You do have the option of being taken on a trip around the settlement area by selecting a Rune option.
Apart from the less-than smooth animation of tile swapping, I enjoyed playing this game, It is more likely to appeal to fans of the Match 3 genre. I downloaded my copy of the game from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $9.99. Game requirements call for a 2.0GHz processor with 2048MB of RAM and 245MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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