Rescue Quest Gold
In the world of Rescue Quest Gold, beings called Spritelings are responsible for magic. However, when these Spritelings begin disappearing, it also causes the magic to fade, which weakens the older magicians. Fortunately, two apprentice magicians, Boom and Zap, leap into action and embark on a quest to rescue the Spritelings and thwart the efforts of the evil sorcerer behind their disappearance. They might not have the skills of full-pledged wizards yet, but as they make progress on their journey they learn new skills and become more formidable. Nonetheless, with more than 200 levels to conquer and countless obstacles standing in their way, the task is going to be anything but easy.
If this charming Match-3 title from Boomzap Entertainment sounds a little familiar it is because the game was previously available on mobile as a free to play title. This is actually the remastered version of the game that has a new premium model, which means no more adds, in-app purchases or energy limits to stand in the way of having fun. While the ability to retry levels as many times as you want is already worth the price of admission alone, the developers have also added some additional improvements. These include a brand new ending along with some improved special effects. The result is a game that retains the addictiveness of the original mobile release, but looks great on PC and allows for uninterrupted play.
In terms of gameplay Rescue Quest Gold sticks pretty close to the basic formula of the Match-3 genre. This means you’ll be required to match three or more tokens of the same color to clear a path along the board for your chosen character. Initially, all you have to do is reach a caged Spriteling to free it and clear the level, but it doesn’t take long for additional objectives to show up. These range from defeating a certain number of enemies to finding keys or multiple cages, getting to your destination before an opponent and even taking down a huge boss. Seeing as you only have a limited amount of moves to accomplish your objectives and reach your destination the game requires a lot more strategic thinking than typical Match-3 titles. Randomly matching tiles will only cause you to run out of moves quicker and we’ve encountered plenty of situations where we were tantalizingly close to the exit only to fall short.
What also sets this game apart from the competition is its sprawling levels and the ability to choose your own path. Double-clicking on any tile sets it as a waypoint and your character will automatically try to make their way there via the shortest route. In some cases this means that taking a longer detour might be better in the long run than trying to take a short-cut through some big obstacles. Speaking of obstacles, the game isn’t just content with strewing hundreds of tokens in your path, but also features some environmental hazards that are unique to the areas you are traveling through. For example, rocks require you to match tokens right next to them to break them down before you can pass, while later levels have ice and even slime to deal with along the way. Then there are blocks that only disappear once you make enough matches of the same color near them, not to mention the critters that roam the board. From Imps that pile on more tiles to spiders that encase tokens in webs and Yetis that freeze tokens, there’s always something new to deal with in each area. This not only ups the challenge, but also keeps things interesting, which is a definite plus considering how many levels are on offer.
Apart from simply matching three gems to clear them away, you can also play a little more strategically. Gems can be cleared anywhere on the board where you are able to make a match, not just near your character, so you are free to approach your path from any direction you want. Setting off chains is vital for conserving moves and matching four or even five tokens at a time can be very beneficial. The former rewards you with a special token that can send out a horizontal or vertical blast when matched while the latter can net you a bomb token or wild token depending on the configuration of your match. Just as useful are the bonus powerups you receive for clearing levels the first time as these can be activated any time during play to reap the benefits. Finally, there are the abilities that are unlocked for reaching certain levels. Unlike the powerups, these are not just useful, but absolutely essential for clearing certain levels. Each ability has to be charged first by matching tokens of the same color, but can then be used for anything from smashing a bunch of tiles with a hammer to launching an arrow at an enemy, swapping tiles that are not adjacent and even teleporting to a nearby empty tile.
Visually, Rescue Quest Gold is a good looking game with colorful visuals and a charming art style. Seeing as there are so many levels you’ll be seeing a lot of the same backgrounds and tiles, but care has been taken to split the levels up into different areas. These all have their own themes, starting out in Greenleaf Forest and Wayward Falls before progressing towards Turnspell Academy, Deepgloom Grave, Winterhell, Spooky Swamps and beyond. Some of the animations for the characters and enemies look a little stiff, but overall the game looks very polished. It doesn’t have a lot of options in terms of graphical settings as your only options are setting the game to full screen or windowed mode. However, the 2D visuals look good either way and there’s no need for much more.
The audio is decent, but some of the background tunes can become a little repetitive, especially if you are stuck in one area for too long. Having said that, the music isn’t too bad overall and quite fitting for this type of game. It is also nice to see that the downloadable soundtrack is included with the game, but we don’t see many people listening to it outside of the game, especially after the hours spent hearing it while playing. Rescue Quest Gold also features some speech snippets, which is mostly reserved for the short cut-scenes between levels, but there is also a narrator who utters a few phrases when you pull off impressive moves during gameplay. The music and sound levels can be adjusted independently from each other, which is always great for puzzle games like this one where one or the other can become annoying after a few hours of play. The controls work well for the most part and accomplishing anything is usually just a matter of pointing and clicking. Our only gripe is scrolling around the playing field, which is accomplished by clicking and dragging areas outside of the playing field. This can be a little cumbersome, especially when playing with a fully zoomed in view and we would have liked the ability to scroll around using the keyboard.
The fact that Rescue Quest Gold has gone from a free title to a paid one might rub some people the wrong way, but honestly it is worth every penny. The sheer number of levels will keep most players busy for ages and those who finish them can then test their mettle with the expert difficulty level. In addition, it is a much more enjoyable experience due to the fact you that your game time isn’t limited by energy meters. You can also earn up to three stars per level, based on how many moves you had left as well as your score, which offers an additional layer of challenge. Finally, the game has a ton of in-game achievements, but strangely no Steam achievements. This is definitely a title that will appeal to fans of casual and puzzle games, especially those who love the Match-3 genre. There’s no need to take our word though, as there is a demo version of the game available to try out for free.
- Minimum PC System Requirements
- Recommended PC System Requirements
- Minimum Mac OS X System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7/8/10 (Windows Update Recommended)
- Processor: 1GHz or Faster
- Memory: 512 MB RAM
- Graphics: DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Storage: 500 MB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 with latest service packs
- Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB or AMD Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB or higher
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Storage: 500 MB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
- OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
- Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz or better
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Radeon HD2600, Geforce 8600, with 512 MB VRam or better
- Storage: 1 GB available space
- Additional Notes: Macbook 2013 or later