And the cat came back in Arkedo Series – 02 SWAP!

Review of Arkedo Series – 02 SWAP! on XBLIG: Try
Go for it! Connect four!

Arkedo Series – 02 SWAP! is a potentially very challenging match four game with an unnecessary and random feeling storyline. Essentially, the story’s main character, King Kat had a bender with some milk-based alcoholic beverages and ended up displaced from his castle and with some memory loss. You now must take him back to his castle by defeating a certain number of rising blocks.

It is a bit unclear if I’m supposed to be King Kat himself or a slient unacknowledged servant. The King is shown on the side of the screen and he reacts to gameplay as a spastic cheerleader. Hints pop up annoyingly at what should be checkpoints in the level (They aren’t. They’re so you can tell when the board is going to speed up.) unless you remember to turn them off.

The trial is only of the Arcade mode where the point is to last as long as possible. King Kat is still there, waving his pointing stick around and looking far too smug. The control scheme seemed a little odd. I don’t know if or how it could be made better. It probably didn’t help that at times it felt like the cubes weren’t responding like they should (lag on destruction after making a match).

The graphics are aesthetically pleasing. The music fits both the relaxed play of the beginning and the tense pace of the end of the Story mode. The pace of the difficulty ramp up was good and steady until the final level where it seemed someone said things were way too easy and no one wanted to add one more insanely long level. That is the only level with an additional color thrown in (when I played on normal) and it was the only one to speed up at what I felt was a challenging pace. It took me a number of tries to finish the game only because of that final level and how long it was as well as some iffy controlling (I hate the XBOX controller for finer maneuvering needed in traditional arcade games).

Puzzle games of this type, even as well done as this one, can only be a Try at best. I recommend trying this game just to see if the control scheme is to your liking. Maybe Arkedo Series – 02 SWAP can scratch your puzzle game itch.

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