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Treasures of Montezuma 2 Review
Review Score:

I’m sat here with the world greatest and most painful man-flu. It’s a man-flu for the ages, it really is. So when asked to review a game, I was very much not up for it. Anything with moving anything, is gonna make me more nauseous than I am right now. So, bad times.

But then I find out it is a puzzler and I am a sucker for a puzzler (only just working this out recently) and I can’t say no. Ok, with dizzy, woozy tentative first steps and my manta cycling over and over again in my head (“I’m a games journalist, must be neutral, must not throw up on myself”) I set about installing The Treasures of Montezuma 2 on my PC.

Ok, basically you get a field of coloured gems and match them up in threes and they disappear but the field constantly regenerates the icons. The way to win is to match up special coloured icons with gems inside them, get enough gems, you complete the level, it’s not as easy as that though (when is it?) you are also up against the clock for points and bonus gold. Ah, now it’s got my attention.

Basically THAT is it but the extras complete the game. The more points the more gold and the more gold the more bonus stuff you can get. There are about a dozen bonuses to get and all make the game deeper and wildly change its character. For example, one bonus will allow you to detonate an area around a bonus explosive icon if you match him up with 2 of his friends. Another is coloured totems, when you match up its colour twice in a row it gives you, for example, more time or fireballs. Fireballs!

The timer in game has levels, get your quota of gems in the first level and get yourself high scores, more gold to spend and a nice shiny coloured mask. There are three levels and the lower the clock, the lower your gold count will be. With game timers, I’m not a fan of time trials or against the clock stuff but if you’re in it just for the fun and don’t want to worry about it, that’s ok! The game won’t dump you out if you run out of time, punish you if you just want to take your sweet time. It’s only there as an extra to play with if you want to.

Every time you match up icons you get a little push into an ever decreasing bar at the bottom of the screen, manage to fill this bar and you will get a score frenzy. It’s something small but after a while you will find yourself rushing to fill it whether it’s because you want the high score or, like me, just the beat the buggering thing! You also get access to a shuffle button which allows you to reorganise the game field if you become stuck. That thing saved me on more than a dozen occasions. Oh, and a Hint button…if you’re THAT person…..

The games presentation is simple, bright and colourful without it being over the top. It’s what you expect from any quality puzzler, simple and engaging. The theme is centred on an Aztec or Mayan temple and on looking closer you will see it is followed cleverly through the game. Sound is good and clear and sits well, no over the top Japanese voice over’s screaming at you or aggravating pop-ups that block the game area. You get a fast, bright game but nothing annoying.

One thing, my display is a muscular 1680×1050 and the game doesn’t support widescreen and doesn’t have the option to change to widescreen either. It’s a small thing that almost anyone will get over very quickly (aside from your most die-hard PC gamer) but something that would be nice to address in the future. Even if the space was occupied by background detail and not the puzzle screen it would be an improvement.

I always find the best measure of a puzzler is its addictiveness. I’m not sure if there is a scale of addictiveness with gaming if there isn’t, I’m inventing one…and it’s called the Stumble Scale (in honoured respect to the Stumble Button add-on to your favourite internet browser). So for a basic idea, Tetris being a flat out 10 and E.T for the Atari being 1 (so, so bad) we can set the scene score wise.

With The Treasures of Montezuma 2, even with my Lem-Sip addled brain, I kept on coming back for more. I found it very satisfying to get row after row of icons disappear with only a few clicks and just being observant. That coupled with all the extras in the game which manifest as warm fuzzy feeling explosions, fireballs or cracking ice make it easy to come back to. So on the Stumble Scale, I’m giving it an 8. When you want to go back to playing it while describing it…that’s a good sign…

The game has 3 difficulty levels and each has plenty of levels to do. You will have to try hard to crack this game in any reasonable timeframe. Then, after all that there is an Endless game play mode which is as it says on the tin.

Its fast and thrilling and it will suck you in, even if you in it just for the quick game here and there or a mammoth session (either will usually end up as mammoth sessions whether you like it or not) it’s a fantastic game. I do tend to roll my eyes at new puzzlers but I love to be proven wrong about them. The Treasures of Montezuma 2 has won me over and I urge you to give it a bash (free trial on the website, https://www.alawar.com/game/the-treasures-of-montezuma-2/). Reviewed on the PC. And for the record, I played the game three times whilst writing this review…


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