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Match Up! - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Match Up!

DSiWare | Digital Leisure | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | 200 Nintendo Points
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15th August 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

The game of flipping over cards to make pairs of pictures has been around for many years. Digital Leisure has seen fit to bring this childhood activity to the DSiWare service. The game once again stars the nutty Professor Lexis who appeared in Mega Words, the team's last release. Not only is Match Up! cheap, but it's also a decent showing for a $2 title.

    Match Up! includes two different game modes, Memory Match and Memory Machine. The first mode is the traditional method of playing where you're given a puzzle consisting of a bunch of squares. Cards are either placed in a random clump or positioned in such a way that a picture is created, such as a heart, or a little hut. Players must flip them over repeatedly to reveal what's underneath and using the powers of your memory banks and a share of luck, you'll need to make pairs to clear the board. You'll be given circles, squares, triangles and stars, and be required to match these with same-coloured shapes located somewhere on the playing field. 

    Each move you make brings down the meter on the left until you win or get a Game Over, whichever comes first. The colours of this gauge are an indicator of the trophy you'll be awarded when you make your final match. Upon completion of a puzzle, you'll be awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze trophy depending on your performance. As you get farther in the game, you'll need to memorize more cards and the requirements for a Gold trophy will be less lenient. In the grand scheme of things, the trophies don't count towards anything so it's nothing worth being extra cautious over.

    Now, Memory Match offers a new, more exciting take on the classic game of concentration. The premise remains the same where you're still flipping over cards, except now gimmicks are added to make things much more interesting. Cards are stacked up to the top of the playing field and once pairs disappear from the area, the ones above drop down as more are added. You don't need to make pairs with shapes of the same colour but if you do, you'll earn even more points. And the more points you earn, the more the gauge on the left fills up until you're allowed to move on to the next level.

Some cards will have a different colour from the usual blue set, and if these are matched up with another card, you'll earn double points. Some cards have Lexis' face on it which simply allow you to go again. The most interesting aspect to this mode is the presence of bombs. These explosive cards explode after 10 turns, so you'll need to successfully match them up with another card on the grid before the timer expires. When they do disappear, the explosion will expose nearby cards, saving you work if you pay close attention. The game almost reminds me of Bejeweled Twist in its approach, and although it's simple, it can be fun to play.

    Just like with previous releases from Digital Leisure, you can pause and save your game at any time and pick it up again later on. High-scores are also recorded under the Statistics menu which may offer a share of motivation to the average gamer. What I was surprised to see (or rather, not see) was the fact that you can't assign multiple save profiles, which does seem a bit odd considering the nature of their earlier projects.

    Presentation-wise, there's nothing special, but it does look slightly more appealing than what was presented in Mega Words. The silly, unimpressive animations do return in Match Up. For instance, the closer you get to losing your game, the more anxious the Professor gets, causing him to shake with squiggly pencil lines floating in the air. So that brings down things a bit, but it's pretty easy to ignore. The music in this game is soft and light, but I especially like the music that played during Memory Machine. It appeared to carry an Egyptian feel with a fast pace, something I didn't hate listening to.

    Match Up! can be addicting but it can easily get a point where you just get sick of the game entirely. Memory Machine is the best part of this release, offering a new Bejeweled-esque take on the classic game. Other 200-Point games have set a higher standard than this, but you can't really complain when it's so cheap. You get what you pay for, really. So if this looks like fun for you, your relative or child, it's a quick way to pass time. But if it doesn't appeal to you, then obviously spend the money on something more worthwhile.

19/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 7/10 - Simple concept that's been explored countless times, Memory Machine offers something different
Presentation 6/10 - Nothing outstanding, unimpressive animations, light music that was surprisingly enjoyable to listen to
Enjoyment 3/5 - This is something that just about anyone can understand and enjoy, younger gamers will enjoy this a lot
Extra Content 3/5 - Two different methods of play, unable to have multiple profiles, high-scores, only 200 Points

Equivalent to a score of 63% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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