Which is represented more in the Windows Phone Store, Match-three games or endless runners? My money is on the match-three styled games and you can add Fruit Heroes Saga to the genre of games available in the Windows Phone Store.
Fruit Heroes Saga is a colorful, multi-level styled match-three game where, as you might guess, work towards creating matches of the same type of fruit. Each level has a scoring goal that has to be met in a set number of moves or before time runs out. Fruit Heroes Saga also includes bonus items that can be purchased with your winnings to improve your chances of success.
Available for low-memory devices, Fruit Heroes Saga isn't a bad game to consider adding to your Windows Phone gaming library but it lacks that "zippity doo da" to let this game stand out in the crowded field of match-three games.
Fruit Heroes Saga has a minimal main menu that holds options to play the game and access the game's settings. Settings cover the basics with options to mute the game's sound and music.
Game play is set up in level fashion with a map that will chart out the 100+ gaming levels. Across the top of the map screen you will find your coin count (and the option to purchase coins via in-app purchase), your life counter, life restore timer and tally on the number of stars you have earned during game play. Each failed level will cost you a life and lives are replenished over time (one life per thirty minutes).
The gaming screen for Fruit Heroes Saga has your playing field center screen, your gaming statistics at the top and your bonus/power-up items lining the bottom of the screen.
Statistics includes your gaming level, your gaming score, your move counter or timer and your coin count. Each level will have an established goal of reaching a certain score or collecting a set number of fruit styles. You'll need to reach this goal in a limited number of moves or within thirty seconds. Once you run out of lives, there is no option to buy more lives with coins or in-app purchases. I'm not a fan of this gaming design but it will force you to pace your game play and prevent the game from getting stale too quickly. However, thirty minutes is a long time to have to wait.
Game play falls in line with your typical match-three styled game. You swap adjacent fruit styles to create a match of three or more of the same styled fruit. When you create the match, the fruit is removed from the screen, points are earned and more fruit rolls in from the top of the gaming board.
As you complete levels you will earn gaming coins that can be used to purchase bonus items to help your chances at success. The bonus items are lined up at the bottom of the gaming screen and include:
- Clock – Adds time to the game clock
- Remove one fruit – If you have one fruit blocking your way to creating a large match, this bonus will take let you remove it from play.
- Zap a row of fruit – This bonus will send a lightning bolt across a row of fruit, removing it from play.
- Zap a column of fruit – Same as above but zaps a column instead of a row.
- Magic fruit – For the lack of a better term, once this magic fruit is placed on the gaming board and swapped with an adjacent fruit all the fruits of that style magically disappear.
While you can purchase the latter three bonus items, they will also occur during game play as you create matches of four or more fruit.
To help keep the game interesting, Fruit Heroes Saga will mix up the game board style throughout the levels. You may get the traditional square shaped playing board on one level and on the next you will find yourself facing an odd shaped board.
While I wanted to like Fruit Heroes Saga I found it difficult to jump on the bandwagon. The game wasn't terrible and had some challenging levels.
Game play is decent but the animation and movement of fruit is oddly slow. There were times when fruit would not move with the screen gestures and times when the movement of the fruit was done in slow motion. This slowness became an issue when playing levels that were timed and added a bit of frustration to game play.
Asides from the slow motion glitch that might be fixed through an update Fruit Heroes Saga lacked that intangible to keep you pulled into the game. Waiting thirty minutes before a life can be restored doesn't help matters much either.
Fruit Heroes Saga needs something to keep the match-three game from quickly becoming stale. Something to help it stand out a little from other match-three games. Maybe it could have mini-games between levels such as a speed matching game to see how many matches you can create in thirty seconds to earn bonus coins.
I think the game has potential but as is, Fruit Heroes Saga may come across as a little too vanilla.
- Fruit Heroes Saga – Windows Phone 8 – 30MB – Free – Store Link