To tell you the truth, friends, I'm actually pretty busy working on something today. That said, I was asked to come and write something for all of you about the new follow-up to Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99]. It's called You Must Build A Boat [$2.99], and it's every bit as compelling as the first game. Did you like the first game? Do you enjoy puzzle games? Do you like games? You're going to want this one, trust me.

The premise of the first game had you escaping from a prison by achieving a certain score. You had to eke out upgrade after upgrade, bumping up your multiplier in the hopes of making just a little bit farther each time. In this one, you've got nothing but freedom ahead of you. The only thing is, you need a boat. A little boat will do at first, but you'll soon need a bigger one. To get the necessary resources, you'll have to drop anchor and test yourself against the local wildlife. In doing so, you'll collect gold, gather items, new crew members, and monsters, all of which will help you become stronger in one way or another. Once you've grabbed everything from one location, you'll pull up the anchor and sail on. The game even keeps track of your time on each leg so that you can try to beat it again more quickly once you've finished.

Photo 2015-06-03, 21 02 28 Photo 2015-06-03, 21 02 51

In terms of mechanics, the core hasn't changed much. You'll see your guy running across the top of the screen while you play on the lower half. You'll have to slide rows and columns to match at least three of one type of piece in order to launch attacks, shore up your defense, or unlock chests. While you're matching, the screen keeps on scrolling, and if you don't clear out an obstacle before it scrolls you off the left side, you'll win. Which is to say, you'll take your rewards and head back to the boat. You can try again, of course, and you'll need to play each stage several times to reap the rewards of completing all of the missions. Each stage is composed of a few different sections, and as you enter each one, a random modifier will be applied that ensures there's always something new to deal with.

Aside from switching to a level-based structure, the big change in the gameplay comes from a small but significant change to the mechanics. In the previous game, you couldn't do anything while pieces were settling after a match. You had to wait for everything to fall into place before you took any other actions. This time around, you don't have to wait. You can keep on matching even while pieces are clearing out and collapsing. In fact, you really must get the hang of this mechanic before too long. It increases the pace of the game quite a bit, making the game feel more hectic and action-packed than its predecessor. There are a couple of other new tricks too, like traps that you have to disarm by matching similar pieces or boxes that require you to match certain tiles to open. Items are used on the field now as opposed to being stored in a discrete area. It makes them easier to use.

Photo 2015-06-03, 21 03 06The other major changes are more in the background. Instead of hunting down natural resources as in the first game, here you're collecting just a few things. Gold coins, which are used for just about every upgrade, are the most common resource and are earned by opening chests and beating monsters. Muscle and mind power are used to summon captured monsters, buy artifacts, and upgrade your magic. Summoned monsters will give you a passive bonus to one stat or another, while upgraded magic improves the effects of the spells you'll uncover while playing. Once in a while, you'll earn a bit of dust that you can use for extremely powerful upgrades to your sword and wand. And then there's a litany of junk that you'll just end up exchanging for gold.

Your home base, the boat, feels a lot more alive than the castle in the previous game did. Any monsters you catch and summon will be rambling about on the decks, while new crew members will set up their own rooms where you can go visit them. There's nothing fancy to catching the monsters, either. They're given as rewards for completing certain missions, just as crew members and boat pieces are. You have to complete every mission to move on, but a scarcity of resources means you'll have to pick and choose which upgrades and monsters you buy. It's a lot of fun watching your boat grow from a humble river boat to a majestic galleon, getting packed with more and more creatures and odd characters.

The presentation hasn't changed all that much in style so much as in complexity. The visuals are still simple in form, the music still sounds like a lost Konami soundtrack from the 8-bit era, and so on. There's the potential for a lot more happening on the screen at any given time, but the game looks and sounds like the follow-up to 10000000 that it is. The same, but a bit more detailed. The biggest gains here are in quantity. There are more enemies, backgrounds, and pieces of music than the first game had. A lot more, in fact. This variety helps spice up the game and makes it feel more complete.

In general, that's kind of what You Must Build A Boat is. It's a more complete 10000000, offering so much improvement all around that it makes the original game feel like a demo. It's absurdly fun and nearly impossible to put down. The considerably larger amount of content means that you should probably cancel your plans for the next couple of evenings, because you're not liable to show up anyway until you've seen your way through to the end. It's the kind of game that makes you wish someone would invent more efficient batteries so that you didn't have to stop playing for a few seconds to plug a cord into the wall. Now, if you'll excuse me.

I must build a boat.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • countBasil

    Tried to buy but it says item "no longer available" 🙁

    • mudads

      Just came in to say the same thing. Why can't I buy this????

    • kidd546

      Same, and I haven't wanted to buy a game this bad in a LONG time!

    • MarsMachine

      "This item is no longer available" in Swiss Appstore too!

    • GreenAlex96

      It seems that almost every new release suffers from this. Gimmie a break Apple!

  • yoshthug

    Shaun says buy it. Then I buy it.

  • Squablo

    Wish I could buy it........I've been waiting for months...........item no longer available

  • profhuggybear

    So eager to buy and the Apple Store says no Bueno. I'll go sulk in the corner and wait.

  • Tonk Montana

    Bought it. I'm building my boat.

  • Maglor

    It's ★★★★★!! Everything is AWESOME!!
    __/■\   __∧_∧_  __ ∧_∧
    (´∀`∩) ( ´∀` ) _(・∀・)
    (つ  丿 _ ⊂   つ __(   つ
    ( ヽノ __/  ∧ \ __ |  ト、 \
    し(_) (__)(__) (__)(__)

  • apayson

    "No longer available". Doesn't the Apple Store know I MUST build this freakin boat??

  • araczynski

    i'm probably the only one that felt the original was too 'rushed' in terms of not getting to enjoy the game, but feeling like you're just forced through it. probably that stupid timer/slider thing. hate games like that.

  • dingdongfootball

    But how do I buy the boat?

  • RampageDeluxe

    I now see why we must build a boat. It is to stop us from drowning from all the tears from being unable to purchase it.

  • mdemy8

    Seriously what is going on! A major flood is going to destroy the earth and Apple will not let me build my boat. This is insanity! No really,what's the deal with this release?

    • skylined87

      It's all the new releases... I don't understand why...

  • Anova

    $3.50 up front! And I can't just buy the boat outright with IAP, what's the point?

    • Bowen Kerins

      that's why it's not called You May Buy A Boat

  • Kita

    This is the one game I want to buy in the ocean of endless apps that come out and forgotten about minutes later and I can't even buy it 🙁

  • badjester42

    Just got the same message. Shame cause I was really looking forward to playing this.

  • Nergal

    Wow, pretty bold statement from TA. But I was already sold, thnx anyway

  • MasonHurst

    I read the Dev pulled the game as he was unhappy with the gameplay. The rumor is that he will release a new "smarter than you" game because of huge popular demand.

    • ZEROFACES

      I heard the same thing. I fully agree with Luca's decision though, I really trust his judgement =)

  • jberk

    No longer available in U.S. App Store. But last night the iTunes Store was having issues. I hope that's it. Excited for this release.

  • bcredonk

    I can't download any of the new releases, looks like I'm joining the crew redownloading 10000000 and waiting til morning

  • TheGodless

    Not the stupid no longer available issue again! This has been going on for what seems like months now. Is it that difficult of a bug to fix?

  • tamon76

    "This item is no longer available"

    The only other time I've gotten that message is when Mortal Kombat X came out.

    I finally got MKX downloaded, but it was buggy as hell. Waited over 31 days for a response to a trouble ticket, then gave up and deleted the App. On day 32 I finally got a response saying I had to just delete my game and start over. #NoThanks

    Hopefully this time turns out better.

  • mgarz

    Finally 'available' after 20 hours of buy button mashing.

  • tamon76

    It's downloading!

  • bajaresident

    Honestly starting to feel some buyers remorse here. Only been 30 minutes but this ain't exactly as good as 10000000 so far.

  • Kiltedsheep

    God, I love this game. I think it's better than 10000000 - it's got more depth (and the little tutorial dudes are pretty cute). I just can't put it down!

  • korkidog

    Such a great game!! Thanks to the developers for going with a premium price and not the freemium route.

  • Serenityinaz12

    Excellent, loved 10000000 and looking forward to this

  • your personal robot

    10000000 was pretty perfect. And this is so much better. Masterpiece and easily the best matching game for iOS.

  • tpianca

    you actually made me wonder for a second on what were you so busy about...then it became obvious! Great review.

  • Mightywiggles

    This game is so good. I'm building that boat like a motherfucker!

  • waystar

    Dear sweet God this is good. I forgot to eat tonight after being unable to put it down. I'm hungry now and feel the need to say to everyone just buy this as it's awesome! Who needs to eat? I'll keep playing until I waste away and don't have the energy to move my thumbs anymore. It'll be worth it...

  • Hoot3000

    Why do I get so mad when I win lol

  • NFCT

    Awesome game, just dropped some good juju by the way of a 5* on the App Store. Great games and developers, need to be recognized and pushed to the masses! Rally the troops!

    I must now get back to my boat.

  • Ssylex

    The music somehow ends up being even better than the first's. Great follow up to a mobile classic. 🙂

  • InvictusAPA

    This game is addictive.

  • MartianLM

    This game suffers from not looking very good in screen shots, but I've taken a punt on it based on the comments above (I'd never have bought it without the article and comments). Come on TA, don't let me down...

    Downloading now.

  • EZ Ice

    Not sure Im feeling the Must build a boat part of it. Seems like I already have a boat. Initial reaction, it's not as fun as 10000000. Just has more things going on outside of the puzzle. i'll keep going see if it gets better.

    • rpgh8r

      I'm with you here... Been waiting for this since its announcement and got to say I think I prefer the original game!

  • WoodLoaf

    Killer game, I'm definitely loving it. Very good review too.

  • veryggyy

    I wasted 3 dollars!😤

  • Ed G

    I don't see what the fuss is about. I played 10000000 and didn't like it. I have an eclectic taste in games, so I can savour various types of experiences. This one, uh... not so much. Maybe it's the overdone match-three mechanic, but I don't see the fun in this.

You Must Build A Boat Reviewed by Shaun Musgrave on . Rating: 5