The Treasures of Montezuma: A Real Treasure

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle, Strategy

The Treasures of Montezuma is unique game that elevates the traditional match-3 game to a new level.   The game is a combination of strategy and fast thinking with a touch of planning.  The initial objective of the game is to make matches of 3 or more of the same tokens keeping in mind that within certain tokens are gems that you must collect.  Basically, each level has a specific numbers of gems that need to be chained together and collected to complete the levels before time runs out.  Here is the unique part of Montezuma: the star system.  Each time you complete a level, you are awarded a star that can be used to unlock special power ups or totems for use during the game.  Doing so unleashes awesome chain reaction effects that allow you to collect the gems in the next level.  Also, there are nine trophies that can be unlocked for performing combos, and other various accomplishments.

Montezuma has 14 power ups that can be unlocked with each upgradeable to four stars.  The powers that you acquire include extending the timer, increasing the number of gems on screen or destroy specific colored stones.  In the early levels, I find the best strategy is to spread these stars around the various power ups to give you a broader range of powers.  As you progress, you will need to be strategic in which power ups to upgrade.  In addition, whenever there are no more matches to be made, the board is automatically reshuffled.  You can also choose to shuffle via the Shuffle button located in the top middle of the screen, but you’ll want to use these only when absolutely necessary.

Of course, the game presents obstacles including chains that prevent certain stones from moving (which can be destroyed by making matches), and iron stones that don’t move at all.  As you progress through the levels, you’ll discover how to strategically make or not make matches to clear the board.  A good way to double points is to create a Scoring Frenzy, which occurs when you fill the entire play area with chain reactions from matches.  Don’t wait for matches to disappear; instead keep creating matches as long as you can and soon you’ll reach a Scoring Frenzy.

The Treasure of Montezuma is an extremely well-presented, high-production value game, and while it’s categorized in the match-3 genre, it really is so much more than that.  This is an original and engaging puzzler that will keep you on your toes.

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