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Polish independent studio CodeDeamons have released their first commercial venture called Rune Masters, after trying their hands at a few Flash games and such. It’s a matching puzzle game infused with RPG elements, quite like Puzzle Quest.
The game differentiates itself through a few design choices. For one, gameplay of the gem board is perceived through active time. This means that while there is still a turn based routine, a player’s move gets charged, after which they can perform a move on the board. It’s quite like Final Fantasy schemes, which keeps the pace higher than usually, as players have to react before the opponent does, if they want to link a particular item. Additionally, moving doesn’t just change 2 gems, it pushes the whole row in that direction.
Rune Masters employs a leveling mechanic that enhances player’s attributes, as well as giving them a range of skills and spells to choose from. Opponents can also drop loot and equipment that enhances these statistics. It features 2 game modes: A classic mode where the goal is just to get as many points as possible and a story-based campaign.
The PC game is out now for €9.99. There’s also a short demo available. We played it and it’s not bad, if you forgive the rather poor art. They probably had no time or resources to spend towards it; still, the gameplay is sound. You’ll find it here.