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Azkend 2: The World Beneath (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)

Written by funkyellowmonkey (GP) on . Posted in Video Games

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There have been many puzzle games since the era of Tetris, many have shone and many have passed by the wayside. Azkend 2 on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish so to speak.

Building upon the prequel, the sequel brings a plethora of new modes and challenges to keep you busy. The title is based on 'matching' mechanics, match the same type of tiles to get rid of them, the more you match the more you score (combos, multipliers, etc).

You can choose from story mode, time and medal mode, story consists of seventeen chapters (over 60 levels) revolving around the character of the game, each chapter gets progressively challenging as you advance. Time mode speaks for itself really. Medal mode consists of the chapters and levels in story, with the player trying to successfully complete the challenges in order to unlock and gain medals.

Each move you make, results in other pieces moving and shifting into place, the key to completing the chapter is to not waste many moves, clear as much of the tiles as possible, keep going forwards and using the many helpful powerups along the way.

Certain puzzle games that I've played left me on the verge of pulling my hair out with frustration with their unforgiving designs and such. Azkend 2 however, encompasses perfectly balanced gameplay, it's never unforgiving - as mentioned earlier, there are items that will help aid you through the game - when matched, items such as binoculars will help rid of isolated pieces, hammer will smash tiles etc. You can access these powerups any time during the game once attained via the inventory. When you fail a level, you don't feel that it's the title's fault, you just brush it off and restart - choosing a different powerup may help too.

When the game is started up, you know you're in for something special. Presenation-wise, it's extremely polished, the graphics are marvellous, with vibrant use of colors and great particle effects abound.

Special mention must go to the audio, composed by Jonathan Geer, the music is extremely beautiful and suits the game's fairytale-like atmosphere perfectly.

There's plenty of re-play value as well, there are many different combinations of patterns and matching each time you play - you'll find yourself coming back to it time after time trying to clear a particular challenge or chapter in the fastest possible time.

If you enjoyed the first game, you will like the sequel more so, it can get tough at times but hey, it's definitely a worthy challenge even to newcomers and the like.

Azkend 2 is a shining example of bringing together a fusion of classic tile-matching affairs at the most pinnacle of its genre.

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9/10

Pros
+ Great graphics and story telling atmosphere
+ Enchanting musical score
+ Plenty of levels and challenges
+ Lots of re-play value
+ Balanced gameplay
+ Various modes to choose from
+ Selectable powerups
+ Game Center achivements and leaderboards

Cons
- Can get tough in later chapters but perseverance and patience pays off

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