Azkend: A Beautiful, Yet Challenging Game

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle, Strategy

Azkend is a very polished game—one of the most polished I’ve seen.  If you’ve played the PC flash or Windows versions, you already know what I mean.  From the progress map and individual splash pages to the individual game tiles and sound effects, you’re in for an audio and visual experience when it comes to puzzles..

Azkend is a deep game when you consider the background story, number of levels/sublevels, different talisman and powerups and even trophies marking key milestones.  You have the choice of two modes: Adventure which follows a story line, and Survival which enables you to see how long you can last using a select talisman.  Survival mode is locked until you receive your first talisman.  There are 8 talismans: Power, Hammer, Stars, Extinction, Light, Thunder, Chains and Avalanche.  With every sublevel you successfully complete, you’re awarded a piece of a talisman.  The level is complete once you have all the pieces to reassemble an entire talisman.  I won’t go into details on each because you should experience that for yourself, but it’s fun to watch what happens when you use them.  You also have a Wild Card tile that enables the chaining of non-matching tiles.  Also, there are special obstacle tiles that stand in your way: Ice, Steel, Tar, and Lock.  Each have certain criteria in order to be destroyed, but Tar is the worst of the bunch because it spreads.

Under a time limit, you have a two-fold challenge with Azkend.  First is to convert the entire screen of tiles into blue tiles through matches/chains of three or more of the same icons.  The next challenge is that once the talisman piece appears, you need to create matches/chains that will move it off the board.  Only then will you be awarded the talisman piece and bonus points based on how quickly you accomplish your task.  As you complete matches, the Thunder Meter gradually charges, although you can instantly charge the meter by completing a chain of 7 or more. Once fully charged, the Thunder Meter sends a lightening bolt clearing out a variety of tiles.  I always try to keep this charged as much as possible because the Thunder comes in handy.  You can also reduce the Thunder Meter by using already blue tiles when creating chains and matches.

To change things around a bit, after you complete the sublevels, you’re given a set of visuals that you need to identify in a picture by tapping. Once you accomplish that within the allotted time, you’re awarded additional seconds for the next level.

As I mentioned, Azkend is a beautifully presented puzzle game, and there are various other things that I haven’t even covered.  The challenging gameplay requires quick thinking and planning, and I would highly recommend this.

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