Finding a match-three RPG puzzler that does something new is often a difficult task on the App Store. There are so many games that just rumble along in the same way, with sliding gems and a stale setting.
Blood Gate - Age of Alchemy is a slight breath of fresh air. It has its problems, and while it adds a few things to the mix, it still follows a pretty standard pattern of play, but there's fun to be had here if you're willing to put the time in.Gated community
Rather than moving gems around, here you're drawing lines between collections of same-coloured jewels. Your matches represent attacks, and they play out in one on one scraps at the top of the screen.
Joining gems in triangles or squares creates a shield that will deflect an incoming attack. Matching gems of specific colours fills up special moves, which you can unleash when they're powered up.
You've got multiple characters, and swiping on the upper portion of the screen swaps between them. It's an important tactic to learn, because when a character is off screen they'll regain some of the health they lost in the fight.
The loot you collect can be equipped once you've completed a dungeon. It boosts various stats and changes the look of your character too. You can spend cash to buy emeralds to spend on chests that give you random loot drops.
You can equip potions and boosts, and there's a scroll-based energy system that follows the usual pattern we've come to expect.Kill the blight
The fantasy setting here is all grim and gritty, with grotesque monsters and imminent death around every corner. It's not exactly original, but it's solid enough to hold everything together.
Yes, it's all very free to play, and yes its gameplay beats aren't the most engaging, but as match-stuff puzzlers go, there's enough here that fans of the genre will get some enjoyment out of it.