Azkend 2 – The World Beneath review (Vita)

Today we review Azkend 2 – The World Beneath by Finland-based developer 10tons for the Playstation Vita.

Azkend 2 just came out for the Vita (as well as PS4 and Xbox One), but it’s not a new game. It came out for iOS and PCs about four years ago, and the game hasn’t changed much since then. Azkend 2 is still a good example of a match-three puzzle game, a genre that exploded five to ten years ago and is still around for casual gaming fans to enjoy. What’s interesting, however, is that not many of these games have made it onto the Vita. Is this worth getting if you’re a fan of the genre and own a Vita?

The short answer is yes. Azkend 2 is instantly familiar with its tile-matching gameplay – letting you match three or more tiles on a board to clear them, as long as they touch each other. Clearing them makes existing tiles drop down and new tiles come in, and certain combinations yield extra rewards as well. These can be powerups, or the destruction of a few titles or obstructions. There are a few variations on this theme, but the game follows the general guidelines for match-three games.

azkend2_screen1

While the basic gameplay is fairly generic (and should please fans of the genre), there are a few aspects of the game that are especially well done. Most importantly is the excellent audiovisual presentation. Fused with the gameplay is a storyline that helps move things along, and it’s presented with voiceovers, a pleasant musical score and high quality visuals and animations. The story is rather trivial in how it relates to the actual gameplay, but fans of classic adventure stories (think Jules Verne) will enjoy Azkend 2’s tale of hidden worlds and mysteries.

The inclusion of said story is a good move by the developers, since match-three games tend to start feeling a little repetitive after a while for all but die-hard fans. 10tons understands this and breaks up the action a little more with a couple of hidden object levels as well – requiring you to point out spots of interest in a scene after you’re shown small matchings cutouts from that scene.

Everything about Azkend 2 is designed with the casual gamer in mind. The match-three concept is well executed but never too deep or strategic, and the hidden object portions are intuitive and generally easy enough. The game is geared towards a specific target audience and might not win over the typical console gamer, but it’s a perfect game to share with your parents and/or spouse while on vacation.

Score: 7.0/10

azkend2_screen10

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