Match! is the new game I am currently working on. It is a match 3 game type with a twist: matches are done by swapping one tokens from the grid with the corresponding one on the bottom line. The goal is to make the highest possible score before the amount of moves reaches 0.
Players can do two things in Match!: they can swap a token from the grid to the line, or can move the tokens on the line one step to the side. Each of those action costs one move.
As in other match 3 games, matching more than 3 tokens together will trigger some special effects. Matching 4 will clear an entire line or column, matching 5 will clear that tokens color from the grid, etc.
For each 7 tokens destroyed, the player gets granted an extra move. This is to make it easy for attentive players to discover, as the grid is 7×7. A player who clears a line or a column will then notice that no move was deducted and should be able to understand that system.
Each time players make a valid match from the line to the grid, the bonus multiplier is incremented by one, granting a higher score for each token destroyed. However, if the player decides to move the line on the left or right, his bonus multiplier is reset back to 0. The idea is to force players into not taking the easiest obvious choice on the grid, but to try to create situations where they can actually generate a lot of matches without moving the line. Match! is all about chain reactions.
Finally, in order to have a consistent set of rules, matches also work on the bottom line. So if three tokens are aligned on it, they will disappear. In order for players to be able to take advantage of this mechanic and use it strategically, I decided that the destroyed tokens would then be replaced by the first ones available on the grid, so the ones from the bottom line. Players can then anticipate what would happen if they did such a match.
The first prototype is avalable following this link. The next step is now to find an artist in order to have the game and its feedback properly done, as well as making sure that the UI conveys the nedded information about the systems, which is definitively not the case at the moment.