Developed By : Pixelakes
Published By : Pixelakes
Category : Puzzle, Platformer, Multiplayer/Party
Release : March 01, 2019
For decades, gamers of all ilk have been drawn into the genre of line-filling or three-matching block games (or candy or…any other interchangable item). Naturally, this stack of similar games can all be drawn back to one conclusive beginning inspiration : Tetris. Over the years so many games have come along that use this older game as a platform to launch their own ideas ; sometimes they just outright copy it and distract you with a pretty new face, while others seek to tweak it in some way and make it feel more original. Treasure Stack on the Nintendo Switch takes the approach from the latter area, and does an astounding job with it.
Promising gameplay that is “easy to learn, hard to master”, the team at Pixelakes really flips the mechanics of this block stacking game on it’s head, and even throws some platforming in to spice things up.
The game’s presentation is quite simple and will look extremely familiar, save for one key detail. You’ll have the playing field that you’re used to seeing in these types of games, and you’ll have a character running back and forth across the bottom, and it is through this character that you’ll have to move and arrange your blocks. That’s right, arrange, because in Treasure Stack they can be manipulated even after they’ve been put down.
There are a number of different types of blocks that will fall on your screen, but first lets talk about the two that will be of the most importance to you while playing : Chests and Keys. These pieces will fall in four different colors : red, blue, green, and purple. As they fall you can arrange them however you want, and the chests will continue to pile up. The only way to remove them is with a key matching it’s color (or the wild key which is all four colors). Once the key is placed, any chests of that color touching one of the four hard-sides (corners won’t count) will be opened and removed, as well as any chests that are touching similar hard-sides in a chain.
Outside of these two pieces, you’ll also see a small number of pieces that can either help or hinder your progress. Things like a sword piece that, when activated, will swipe out and completely eliminate everything on the row where it was activated. Another piece that can help you is the bomb which will detonate and destroy the 8 surrounding spaces instantly.
One thing you’ll need to be wary of though is the gray meter filling up on the left side of the screen. Once this fills up, six blocks will be placed on top of your stacks of chests, one in each column. The good thing about these is they can be taken out with any other form of elimination : if you get a match of chest and key, then any of these barricade blocks that are touching that match will be removed as well. Additionally, swords and bombs can remove these barricade blocks too. However, they won’t be so easy since they add a new and frustrating variable to every column on your screen.
As far as the hooking and platforming goes in Treasure Stack I absolutely loved it. Being able to throw up a grapple and yank pieces down feels a lot more involved than just hard-dropping pieces like in Tetris. And doing so gives you some extra precious moments where you can attempt to color coordinate your stacks for easy key-dropping access. Jumping with your character can be a little tricky to get used to, since they can only jump so high and far. But, what helps with this is the fact that you can pick up literally an entire column-sized stack of chests to move them out of your way, and you can hold down while dropping them to place the stack under your feet, meaning you’ll instantly climb to the top.
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Tetris-clone genre. It’s already a straight-forward game so to clone it is to essentially flat out copy it. That is certainly not the case here with Treasure Stack. Looking at images of it beforehand Tetris was strong in my mind, but once I started to play, that thought never crossed my mind again. This title truly stands out, loud and proud on it’s own and is by far one of the most fun titles that I have played so far this year.
Treasure Stack releases TODAY on the Nintendo eShop so don’t wait a moment longer, go and get your copy downloading now!