Nintendad

[Review] Treasure Stack – Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: PIXELAKES
  • Publisher: PIXELAKES
  • Release Date: 01/03/2019
  • Price: $19.99 / £15.79

Intro

Puzzle games have been a staple in the digital media industry. Over the past decades, more and more puzzle games enter the market. One of the main sub genres is the stacking variety. With the recent re-release of a classic stacking juggernaut, it makes new entries in the genre tenuous. In order to succeed in a saturated market, Treasure Stack has to have a lot of qualities to really make it stand out.

The Key to Winning

Treasure Stack, if you couldn’t deduce from the title is a stacking puzzle game. Its premise is simple. Colored treasure chests drop from above and you match the same colored key to open them and clear them from the board. Simple in concept and more challenging in execution. Instead of controlling the dropping blocks, you manipulate an avatar at the bottom. Your avatar can be changed based on unlocks from solo play. You can maneuver around the board with a limited jump and by climbing to the top of stacks. Your main purpose is to pick up a chest or a stack of chests and distribute them as you see fit. Matching colors then adding a key will net you higher points. You also have a grappling hook to snag falling blocks to pull them down faster. Time is critical in each game mode as you have phantom blocks that will appear to make your life more difficult. As in many stacking puzzle games, once you reach the top, it’s game over.

There are few modes in Treasure Stack. You can essentially play a solo match or multiplayer. Solo matches continually spawn phantom blocks across the whole playing field. I found solo mode to be more difficult than multiplayer because every block would be covered. At least in multiplayer when you get attacked it would often cover only a few sections which gives you time to respond and adjust your treasure chest placement. Online play was hit or miss. Since there are so few players, you can either be paired against a pro or someone clearly brand new. I found the online matches very unbalanced. Often times it would take several minutes to find a match and then you get paired against the same person over and over once you do. With the online play bound by few players and solo play restricted to a single mode, Treasure Stack garnered more frustration than fun.

Unlock Your Potential

Fortunately Treasure Stack is slightly addicting. I fell in the loop of one-more-game every time I played. Though the learning curve is steep, clearing chests and racking up the multiplier was certainly fulfilling. Occasional power blocks, such as bombs give you more control of the playing field and you can always see the next pair of blocks before they fall. It would have been nice to have a relaxed single player mode without phantom blocks spawning. Obviously when you play without risk you won’t improve your skills the same. It would have been nice to have the option. In the settings you can turn on or off the ghost player but that didn’t make a difference in any of the games I played. I’m not sure if that is a bug or something else I missed entirely.

A Well Placed Bomb

Ultimately the pace of Treasure Stack is slow with little enjoyment. Limited by your avatar you can find yourself in a pit with little recourse. The controls are hardly smooth. I played both with the pro controller and the joy con. Whether on the big screen or in handheld mode the controls felt clumsy. The only other technical issues I encountered were miniscule. When completing a multiplayer match there would be some slow down and graphic stretching. Nothing that caused a damper on the gameplay but noticeable nonetheless.

Final wrap

For the high price of admission, I would look at other options before investing in Treasure Stack. Considering a subscription to Nintendo’s online service is the same cost and grants you more options, it seems the value isn’t worth it. The steep learning curve coupled with sparse game modes make it easy to keep this chest locked and forget about the key.

Pros

  • Addictive Gameplay
  • Unlockable Avatars

Cons

  • Limited Game Modes
  • Clumsy Controls
  • Unbalanced Gameplay

Verdict
Treasure Stack can be fun at times but is an easy title to pass on when the eShop is full of more valuable  gems.
2.5/5

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