Back in December of 2015, Implosion – Never Lose Hope ($9.99) developer Rayark released a teaser trailer for a new game called Sdorica, and although that teaser didn’t really explain what sort of game it was what it did show was that Sdorica had an absolutely stunning art style and extremely fluid animations. And that’s pretty much all it took to rocket the game towards the top of my most anticipated games list. Well, last week Rayark sneakily soft-launched Sdorica into several regions of App Store and equipped with my trusty New Zealand account I’ve finally been able to take the game for a brief spin.
To my surprise, Sdorica is a puzzle RPG that has you matching blocks in order to produce attacks from your party. Not totally unlike games like Puzzle Quest or Hero Emblems, but the matching portion isn’t your typical match-3. During battle you have two rows of colored blocks in the lower part of the screen. There are 3 colors of block, one for each member of your party. You can only match in groups of 1, 2, or 4 and that will determine the strength of your attack. Obviously you typically want to go for matches of 4 whenever possible for the strongest attacks, but this can be tricky to set up and you’ll also need to strategically make 1 and 2 matches in order to have the new blocks that slide in from the right when other blocks are cleared set up the bigger 4 block matches.
I’m not terribly deep into Sdorica, so I’m not sure if there’s more to the matching that what I’ve just described, but so far I’d say it definitely does the trick as a way to facilitate battling and the real draw of the game is in its story and characters. There’s quite a bit of dialogue and the characters each have very different personalities that are all endearing in their own way. There also appears to be some extensive character progression in terms of upgrading your team’s skills and abilities. This is a free to play game so that progression looks tied to amassing the different in-game currencies and buying IAP if you wish to speed up that process, but it doesn’t seem there’s any sort of energy system that will limit your ability to play, which is nice.
There’s plenty more to learn about the ins and outs of Sdorica as I continue on my quest, but so far it looks like it’ll be a winner for fans of these types of games. It’s also even more beautiful in person than even the very stunning trailers released so far, which you can scope out on Rayark’s YouTube channel. Until we have a date for the game’s global launch, definitely give Sdorica an early spin if you have an account in one of the soft-launch regions (NZ, AU, SG and possibly more) and be sure to check out the game’s forum thread for some discussion.
iTunes App Store Soft-Launch Link: Sdorica -sunset-, Free (By Rayark International Limited)
Google Play Soft-Launch Link: Sdorica -sunset-, Free (By Rayark International Limited)