"FaeVerse Alchemy" is a puzzle game for the PC that uses a hybrid style of a "Match Three" game and a "Tetris" styled game. In this game you have falling blocks that are of different shapes and items and you have to match up three of the following items together (simple as that). This game adds an interesting twist and that is instead of the blocks disappearing they instead merge together to make another single block. Each kind of block works as a certain leveled item, take a leaf for example and think of that as a level one item. When you get three leaves together you will get an item like a sun medallion and the more higher leveled items you put together, more higher level items appear. What makes this tricky is that some of the higher leveled items won't drop as common as other items and you'll only have a limited amount of screen space, so you'll have to plan carefully the deeper you get into the game. Join me after the jump to read if this has potential to be a great game or a hideous monster like what you'll find in some episodes of "Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 - 2004)". (Click "Read More" to read the full article).
As for game modes we see that we only get a few of them (by few I mean three) in this build. The modes are: "Chaos Mode", "Puzzle Mode", and "Verses Mode". Chaos Mode is just a simple arcade mode and plays just like I had mentioned in the opening paragraph. This mode is really fun and very addicting to where you'll be playing for a while. The controls are very simple as all you do is move the blocks around, turn them into the position you want them in, watch them fall to the ground or force them down by holding the "down key". Every now and then you will get a special item that will change up the field and get rid of a certain amount of items on the field, effect certain effects of the items on the field, they were very helpful and certainly helped me get out of sticky situations. Another kind of block you'll see every now and then are blocks made up of more than two elements and I liked that as it made for a nice surprise and it also worked well in the game.
The controls are by far not the most original but hey, it's a system that works so I can not complain. This mode also plays very smoothly to where I honestly couldn't find anything wrong with how it played. This game does get harder as you go in but it does it in a very steady pace and you won't find the game suddenly getting impossible to play without any warning. One thing I would like to see in this mode is an option to let me choose level of difficulty like that found in "Tetris (1989)" on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and Sega's very own "Columns (1990)".
Puzzle Mode has you completing certain tasks and puzzles that range from collecting a certain score with the cut-off bar (go past this bar and lose) at a very low point, clear a certain color, and clear a certain amount of blocks in a certain amount of moves. This mode isn't bad at all and the levels are very beatable and especially to those that aren't that good at puzzle games. I did find myself getting a little bit bored playing this mode as the puzzles were starting to feel like that I was playing the same stages over and over again but with very minute (pronounced: "My-Newt" for all the children out there) differences. This problem was mainly with the score collecting stages and it just made me wanting to go back to "Chaos Mode" to where I could aim for a high score that I can brag about.
Verses Mode is where two players compete against each other and fight to see who can get the highest score (pretty self explanatory). This mode is local multi-player only to where one person controls one player with the mouse while the other controls their player with the keyboard. I'm already finding that a tad bit awkward as in order to play it properly you'll need both players to be close to each other constantly and I sure don't like another person rubbing up against me in multi-player (I'm not a very touchy person). The mode itself plays fine but it is also very rough to where it could use some polishing like how the game continues until both players lose instead of the one. There is also an "Cooperative Mode" that you can switch on during the Verses Mode options and this mode is even rougher to where it just feels like I'm playing verses on an infinite loop rather than feeling that each player is helping each other out. The bright side to Co-Op is that you get the effect items from "Chaos Mode" but still, this mode needs a lot of work.
During gameplay you can actually earn some elements that will go into a special collection. You can view your ingredients in the "Collection" section (I've forgotten what it was originally called due to reasons you'll find out soon) and in this section you can combine a certain amount of ingredients to create an alchemy piece that can help you in the main game. You can hold up to four different alchemy pieces at a time and when you are stuck you can just drag a piece from that section onto the play field and this feature does come in handy. Sadly this feature was also removed from the current build not too long after I played it but it won't be gone forever as they are just fine tuning this system and will be back in the full game... I just got lucky to try it out is all. I hope it gets fixed up as soon as possible as it isn't a bad feature at all (the removal was why I've forgotten it's actual name).
If some of the graphics look familiar to you then you are one of the many who played the very good "Faerie Solitaire (2010)" as this game takes place in the same universe as that game. The graphics you see in game suit the dark alchemical feeling very well as the pieces have that mysterious sinister look that works well with magic... Well all pieces minus the "leaf" as there's nothing special about the look of that. The look of the menus are very rough looking and needs more polish although the menus looked so much rougher in an earlier version and are slowly improving.
Animation in this game is smooth and I found no problem with it what so ever. I have weird feelings towards the soundtrack as while it sounds fine and works with the atmosphere but I did have a hard time remembering the soundtrack as soon as I close off the game. Once you re-open the game the music will feel like it hasn't left your head and I can best compare it to an "On/Off" switch and that analogy might not make any sense to anybody else other than me.
Overall this game was very fun but far from being finished at this point. You can buy this build from the "Early Access" section of Steam but I don't recommend doing so until the full version is out. Another reason is due to the price for this build is very, very steep ($30) and I only recommend buying it at this stage if you are interested in being a hardcore tester that will be reporting every single bug and whatnot's... Or you could just wait until the "Faeverse Alchemy Steam Key Giveaway" that's going to happen very soon. In the end this is a very fun game and it shows promise. Make sure to keep an eye out for the review of this game when the game is fully finished and we will see if this turns out to be a great Tetris-esk puzzler.