Game Revew #173: Treasure Stack (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Chad M.
Category: Multiplayer, Puzzle, Platformer, Party
Release Date: 03.01.2019
Price (at time of review): $19.99
Buy Treasure Stack from the Nintendo eShop here.
Let’s See How This Stacks Up
I’m a big fan of puzzle games with Tetris being one of my all-time favorite puzzle games. I’ve played a few puzzle games from the eShop as there are quite a few to choose from but none like Treasure Stack. The developers over at PIXELAKES, who were founded in 2017 and are located in the Twin Cities, wanted to create a puzzle game that is unlike anything you’ve ever played before by mixing precision action platforming with falling block puzzle mechanics which made for a gameplay experience unlike anything I’ve played before…
Oh wait that’s not true. This plays very similar to the classic game Wario’s Woods (SNES) so it’s not a completely new concept, but I only played that slightly as a child and hadn’t seen anything at all like it before on Switch. It does change up the formula and add elements so I was still very interested. Let’s jump in.
Fantasy World Pieces Together Nicely
This puzzle game is set inside a fantasy world, and you play as a character inside a six column container (like Tetris). Randomly colored puzzle pieces fall down a column randomly from the ceiling. They fall slowly at the start and fall two at a time. Being treasure chests rather than random shapes, when you see they’re random colors (red, purple, blue and green) you immediately assume it’s a match three scenario but you’d be wrong. Instead you have to find the falling block of the same color with a key inside. You put the same colored key with the same colored treasure chest, it then bursts open with gold coins coming out adding to the score, which adds up all the treasure chests you open as you go. You can of course link the chest up with similarly colored chests that are placed next to each other, and when you drop the key all of the chained chests will explode with loot.
You can also work to get combos which will be reflected on the scoreboard as well. On the left there is a meter that has a skull on top; once it fills, fire-red metallic blocks fall, trying to throw off your progress. The only way to eliminate the red blocks is to open chests next to them making them explode as well. Luckily there are a few blocks that fall giving items to help us out. There is a multicolored key that opens any box, an anvil that can destroy an entire column row vertically, a swords that slashes out an entire row horizontally, and a bomb that can destroy a clump of blocks.
Can’t Reach? Then Hook It Up!
The platforming aspect of the puzzle game - though not completely original - is very interesting as it’s something you don’t see used often. I had to go to a rather obscure game to think of the one time I’d seen it before. Adding this element made the gameplay that much more exciting and fun especially when it becomes competitive, but we’ll touch on that later. You can run and jump, but can’t jump higher than one block so you have to really maneuver carefully. I felt the jump was also a little slippery feeling at times. Also, you do use a grappling hook that you will unlock through gameplay achievements. You use the grappling hook by shooting it up and grabbing the chest, bringing them down to you faster which will help when battling the red metallic boxes as well as a competitor.
You can also pick up any number of chests in a column and move them around. This is where you have to just grind out and play a lot of solo play. This is the only way you’ll get better and hone your skills enough to take on online competitors and to make yourself a force to be reckoned with. Plus, you’ll unlock a lot of loot.
As I said before you unlock grappling hooks of which there are 50 in all, which are anything from a normal hook that a pirate may have to a vial of deadly chemicals, a heart, a boxing glove, a crab claw, and my personal favorite, a cheeseburger. You will also unlock 50 characters. It was nice to play a game where I could naturally unlock loot by playing and not have to pay for it. You can unlock a knight, wizard, cat, whale, and a dude that looks like Raiden from Mortal Kombat, just to name a few.
Let’s Dress Up & Play Some More
You can play for hours in the solo mode, which I did, unlocking loot for my character. However, the real fun kicks in when you go into multiplayer mode and battle it out. Now I tried to play online and was able to a couple of times, but I played it pre-release so I was prepared not to see anyone at all. I did get in a couple matches and they were fun, but I’m pretty sure I was playing someone on the development team because they were crazy good. They’d let their whole wall fill up as if just chilling then bust into hyper drive, knock everything out, and needless to say even though the matches were hard fought I never felt even close to winning.
I’m hoping the online community grows as this would be a hell of a lot of fun to just pick up and play with friends or randoms online. The couch co-op was a lot of fun with friends, playing and battling it out. This can be a great party game as we were laughing and having a blast the entire time we were destroying one another with those red metallic garbage blocks that really set you back.
Audio & Visuals
The music was done well with a good soundtrack and great in-game sounds. When the chests burst open with coins shooting out it was a rewarding sound. The colors are vibrant and really pop off the screen with the pixelated characters and hooks being designed very well as an added bonus to the visuals. The little things are what really made the lasting impressions with me, like the locks that swing on the chest or the skull meter on the side or even how if your character has a cape it floats in the wind. I can tell extra detail and love was put into the game to make it less static and feel more living and breathing, even for a puzzle game.
It’s A Wrap!!!
Treasure Stack was such a fun time. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; with a decent community and maybe cross play with Xbox this could have legs and grow to be a great game to pick up and play like a Rocket League. But you can also lose hours just playing solo, though competition is where the game shines. I’d recommend picking this one up as I need more people to battle me so I can bury them and get all the precious loot!
Buy Treasure Stack from the Nintendo eShop here.
*Review Code Provided by Terminals