The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth

We've seen all sorts of games that are "match-3 mixed with [insert genre]" over the years, and in general it's a great way to mix familiar, proven gameplay mechanics with a more robust genre of game. At first glance, Foursaken Media's Puzzle to the Center of the Earth [Free] looks like it might be just another one of those block matching games mixed with additional gaming elements. And that's true to a certain extent, but what has stuck out most to me about Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is just how thoughtful and strategic it is, as opposed to just being a matching game based heavily on the luck of the draw.

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This boils down to the fact that the levels in Puzzle to the Center of the Earth, for the most part, aren't entirely randomized, and making matches requires using energy from a limited pool. The goal in each level is to make enough matches so as to clear a way to the bottom of the mine, and accomplishing that can be a pretty straightforward experience. But if that's all your going for in each level, you're missing out. Each level also has a hidden star, a hidden lever, and goodies like items and gold that can be collected. Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is more about exploration and discovering secrets than it is just finding the end of each level.

Because of that, the game is more strategic than most matching games are. In your explorations, it's easy to "paint yourself into a corner" if you aren't careful, as getting to a hidden item is one thing but leaving yourself a viable way back and to an exit can be quite another. This becomes even clearer as the game's levels progress and become more difficult. But some blocks can reward you with precious energy to make more moves with, and because of that careful planning is an even more essential skill than recognizing a match of 3 or more colored blocks.

We've picked several Foursaken Media games as Game of the Week before, and with good reason. The developer is a master at blending together genres in an interesting way. Not just slapping them together though, but actually putting thought into how the various elements work together and complement each other. Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is no exception, check it out.

  • Maglor

    ⊂_ヽ
      \\ Λ_Λ
       \( 'ㅅ' ) THAT Game of the Week!!
        > ⌒ヽ
       /   へ\
       /  / \\
       レ ノ   ヽ_つ
      / /
      / /|
     ( (ヽ
     | |、\
     | 丿 \ ⌒)
     | |  ) /
    ノ )  Lノ
    (_/

    • Jake7905

      The pussification of TA continues.....

      • Bone16
    • abodi

      Getting old.

  • Steven Lewis

    Great choice.

  • Fangbone

    Love Foursaken. This is honestly one of their stronger entries.

  • GreenAlex96

    Lot of people saying the controls are great for 1 hand, but that doesn't really work for me on the 6 (not the plus.) Regardless, it is a great game, looking forward to getting farther into it!

  • Jake7905

    We get this little gem along with an announcement on Heroes & Castles 2....do these guys sleep?

  • swarmster

    An interesting game, although I'm not sure I understand the gameplay purpose behind hiding the map and items, and moving them around every time you play a level. Instead of being able to dig in a semi-intelligent fashion, it forces the player to randomly zig-zag through every level on every play, until everything is found. I just had to play level 4 ten times because I wasn't randomly guessing where the star would be this time through.

    Would be nice to have some kind of radar or pointers to the items, at least. Or would that cut down on IAP spending?

  • Nathaniel Arnold

    This is the sort of game that the recent abominable I Dig It sequel wishes it could have been.

  • riChchestMat

    The yellow and green blocks are hard to tell apart

    • Martymcsly

      You can change the colours in the options!

    • http://www.foursakenmedia.com/ Foursaken Media

      You can also enable an option which adds little symbols to the blocks if you can't get a good color scheme going.

  • imcookie

    Wow a game of the week I totally agree with this time. Forsaken's games tend not to do it for me but that's because I'm not big on strategy games but I will say that all their games are of top quality wether you enjoy the genre or not.
    Puzzle to the centre of the earth is chuffing awesome though, it really tickles the spot!!

  • korkidog

    Great game but once you get so far, the IAP rears its ugly head and makes it close it impossible to get through areas unless you're willing to dole out some cash. I really wish this had been a 5 dollar game rather than free with IAP. It's a great game but eventually you will get stuck.

  • yoshthug

    What do the formula upgrades do?

  • NapMan

    Can someone tell me if the 0.99 pickaxe in-app-purchase is for a permanent item or is it one-use-only or what? The one pickaxe I found was gone after a single use.