You Must Build A Boat is the sequel to awkwardly named match-stuff RPG 10000000, and if you've played that, you'll feel instantly at home here.
The pixel art graphics are all in place, as is the grid-based puzzling that drives the narrative along, but instead of trawling through and repairing a castle, here you're recruiting a crew of misfits to help your boat to float.
There are plenty of tweaks and additions though, and while there are still a few niggles, You Must Build A Boat feels like a pretty big step forward.
What's it a boat?
The core of the game is a match-three endless runner. You're sprinting down a corridor filled with monsters, chests, and traps. You have to bypass these by matching bundles of symbols on the grid that takes up the bottom of the screen.
Keys unlock chests, swords and staves deal damage to your foes. Matching shields gives you some protection, smashing crates might give you a special item to use, and power and brain tiles are used to gain currency.
The level is always moving though, so the longer you spend trying to match enough keys to unlock that crate, the more likely you are to fail. Bad guys will bash you backwards as well, sending you ever closer to the left edge of the screen and the end of your run.
Every run sees you trying to complete one or two quests. These range from killing a specific monster to matching a set number of tiles of the same kind. Each chapter of the game has a handful of these, and when you've completed them you and your crew move on to the next.
Completing quests adds new rooms and their inhabitants to your ship. You'll get a blacksmith who can strengthen your swords, a trainer who lets you use captured monsters to boost your skills, and a weird blue orb that lets you sell your treasures.
These extra elements add together to make a surprisingly deep game. There's always something to do here, and while you might get frustrated from time to time when you get stuck on a particularly tricky challenge, it doesn't usually last too long.
If you're tired of the whole match-stuff / RPG mash up then you might feel the same malaise towards You Must Build A Boat, but there's a cheery, heartfelt experience here if you're willing to give it a try.
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