There are dozens of match-three styled games available from the Windows Phone Store and LINE CubeHeroes hopes to catch your eye with a slightly different approach for creating the matches. Instead of swapping individual game pieces to create the matches, you slide complete columns and rows.
You have a limited number of moves to reach scoring goals in this multi-level Windows Phone game and a Battle Mode where you can compete against other players online. In either mode, game play is challenging and requires a bit of strategy to be successful.
The game is from LINE Corporation, who also brings us the selfie photo app B612 and the LINE messaging app. In tinkering with LINE CubeHeroes for just a few days, the game comes across as a fun time waster and a nice addition to the match-three genre of games. Based on what we've seen so far, hopefully, we will continue to see more titles from LINE popping up in the Windows Phone Store in the near future.
When you first launch LINE CubeHeroes, the game will walk you through a brief tutorial that covers the basics of game play. From there, an abbreviated primary menu will greet you when you launch the game. This menu will have options to jump into game play and log into your LINE account. A LINE account is free but not required to play the game.
Jumping into game play sends you to a secondary menu that maps out the eighty levels of play. You will also have control buttons at the bottom of this screen that will send you to the game's settings and message center, along with options to share the game and choose your gaming icon. Game settings are brief and cover sound/music levels, access to the notifications center and a help section. Notifications cover any update information or change logs.
The message center is where you will go to receive any gifts earned through game play. There are 200 gifts you can earn and mainly include power-ups you can use during game play to increase your chances of success.
Game play with LINE CubeHeroes is simple in that you work to create matches of three or more of the same colored cube. You create these matches by sliding the rows and columns of the gaming field around. Each level has an objective that you will have to reach within a limited number of moves. These objectives can be based on a scoring level or on removing a set number of specific cubes (i.e. six yellow cubes).
A move is tapping/holding a row or column and sliding it around. You can slide a row or column as much as you need to but once you lift your hold from the screen that constitutes one move.
As you would find with most match-three games, when you create matches, they will explode, be removed from the playing field and points will be earned. Additional cubes will then fall from the top of the playing field to replace those removed. Matches that include more than three of the same colored cubes will generate bonus cubes.
The shape or design of the playing field will change as your move through the levels of play and power-ups are available for purchase prior to the start of each level. You'll use gaming tokens earned during game play to pick up these bonuses if needed.
Game play is regulated to a degree by requiring a blue capsule to start a game. LINE CubeHeroes starts you out with five blue capsules, which are replenished over time or through in-app purchase. If you complete a level of play, you get the capsule back. If you fail the level, you'll lose the capsule.
Along with the multi-level gaming mode, LINE CubeHeroes has a Battle Mode where you can compete with other players online. Playing the Battle Mode will cost you a Red Capsule. CubeHeroes starts you out with five and they will replenish over time or you can replenish your stock via in-app purchases.
Game play is similar to the main gaming mode. You work to create matches of three or more of the same cubes. As you create matches, your opponent will create obstacles by chaining up cubes or by replacing cubes with immovable blocks. Some of these obstacles can be removed if they are included in a match.
There is a meter displayed at the top of the Battle Mode screen and for each match you create, the meter depletes just a little. You have a set number of moves in the game and the goal is to completely deplete this meter before you run out of moves.
After playing LINE CubeHeroes over the past few days, I have found the Windows Phone title to be a refreshing change from your typical match-three styled game. Graphics are modest and game play is challenging enough to make you scratch your head at times. Having two gaming modes doesn't hurt either.
I'm not a big fan of the token method of regulating game play, in this case, requiring a capsule to play the main game or the Battle Mode. However, CubeHeroes doesn't deduct from your token or capsule inventory unless you fail a level when you are playing the main gaming mode, which helps a little. I would have liked to have seen the same consideration be given to the Battle Mode. That is, if you win a battle, you don't lose a capsule.
All in all, I liked LINE CubeHeroes. I did not sign up for a LINE account but playing without having an account was entertaining and a fun way to pass the time. If you give LINE CubeHeroes a try, let us know what you think of the game in the comments below.