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Treasure Stack is a homage to the classic Tetris-like puzzler that we’ve all come to know and love. While the graphics and soundtrack are perfected, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired, and is far too unintuitive to be enjoyable. While I can appreciate that there are some out there who would adore this game; I was not one of them.

Gameplay

Treasure Stack has the player inserted into the level, taking on the form of a pixelated character who can grapple falling blocks down faster. The player must match keys and chests in order to make them disappear. A red bar fills on the left side of the screen, indicating a layer of unmatchable lava will teleport once it is full, throwing the player’s plans for a loop. Unfortunately, Treasure Stack’s mechanics are not fun. I obviously say that with a lot of subjectivity, but I believe there can be objectivity to be found here. When blocks fall from the top, they come in pairs. Green chest, purple key; red chest, red key. You get the idea. My issue is that when pieces come down too fast, the player has the difficulty of both micromanaging blocks and making sure each section of the map has its own ‘colour’ to match, but also has to control a little person who can only jump as high as one block, and so when a large pillar of blocks is created, the player has to pick it up from the bottom, move it to the left, jump, move it to the right, jump. It’s just not intuitive, and not my idea of a fun ‘match’ game. Of course there will be people out there who love this mechanic, and to those, I envy.

Multiplayer is included, and the game definitely benefits from it – which can be said about every other game in existence. Unfortunately, my issues with the game follow the player online, wherever he or she goes.

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Soundtrack

Treasure Stack has pretty standard background music – slightly ominous to get the player unsettled and on edge. The sound is crisp, with satisfying ‘clicks’ when the keys and chests match, and when the lava bar nears the top, the sound of bubbling can begin to be heard. It’s a nice addition in a game where the player’s entire focus should be on matching; and being able to hear the threats posed to the player really helps.

Graphics / Art Direction

The art style is one we’ve seen before, and yet it is still welcomed with open arms. Combining vibrant colours, nicely animated explosions, and seamless movement, Treasure Stack is perfect when it comes to its animation quality and textures.

Final Score: 62%

Treasure Stack, for me, was a bust. I wanted to like it, but the mechanics just frustrated me more than it created a sense of achievement when I pushed through. Those who like puzzlers will probably like it, although I imagine some may share my concerns. In a world where Tetris 99 exists, I just don’t see why somebody would settle for this.

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Posted by Michael Maunder