I should probably start this review by mentioning that match-3 puzzlers and monster collecting/breeding games aren’t usually my kind kind of thing. Not that I’ve got anything against them per se; it’s just that I’ve never really been grabbed by either genre. So the fact that I found myself pretty enthralled by Lemuria Bay (out now, free) — a mashup of both — is a glowing testament to how well-executed and engaging this game is.
Lemuria Bay gets underway with a quick scene-setting cutscene. In it, we’re introduced to a group of seafaring explorers called ‘mugwais’ who, after a hazardous voyage, run ashore on a mysterious tropical island. Upon their arrival, they’re accosted by a fearsome (and hungry) looking creature. Luckily for them, another gigantic beast leaps to their defense and stops them from becoming lunch. The ensuing monster on monster dust-up triggers the first of the game’s match-3 battles, giving you, the player, a chance to get to grips with this side of things.
Once you’ve mastered the ins and outs of match-3 battling and won your first fight, it’s off to the beach to set up camp. This is your base of operations and acts as a hub to the rest of the game. While here, you can build suitable dwellings for the various monsters that you unlock and tame, plant and harvest crops to feed them, mine for crystals (the game’s main currency), enter match-3 battles, and travel through a magical portal to hunt down more monsters and seek out new territories.
In case it’s not clear, there’s a whole lot to do in Lemuria Bay! And developer Kaiho Games have obviously lavished a great deal of care and attention on each and every aspect of the game, meaning everything from the fast-paced match-3 battles to levelling up and evolving monsters is incredibly fun and addictive. There’s also a ton of content to work your way through, including hundreds of quests, objectives and daily missions. Plus, Kaiho are planning on releasing monthly updates for the game (there’s a particularly huge one on the way in January), so Lemuria Bay is only going to get bigger and better with time.
Overall, Lemuria Bay gets a big old thumbs up from me. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the game since it didn’t look like my kind of thing on paper, and I’d say that anyone who’s already a fan of genres it blends together will get even more of a kick out of it than I did.
Lemuria Bay is a well-executed mashup of two genres — match-3 puzzler and monster collecting/breeding game — that’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of either. Or even if you’re not … it certainly won me over!