Good mobile games have the ability to do more than just capture your attention for spurts of a few minutes. Once you start, you find that several hours have suddenly disappeared and in their place is a few destroyed populations, several happy alligator baths or a few Game of the Year awards. Eighty Eight Games wants 10000000 to be that game by cramming together two very popular genres, endless runners and match 3 puzzles. It even follows the market trend of wrapping everything in an adorable 8-bit style.
10000000 puts you in the shoes of guy with a hat and tasks you with gaining a high score of 10000000 to gain your freedom. To score, you must run the dungeon, unlocking every chest and door and killing every monster in your path. In order to do that you must match keys, swords, staffs and shields. This isn’t the first game that’s taken a match 3 game and wrapped in in a different genre, but the endless runner aspect gives this constant timer. If you spend too long unlocking a door or preventing a dragon from eating your face the edge will sneak up on you and you’ll have to start all over again.
Ever since Canabalt, anyone making an endless runner knows that simply making an excellent game isn’t enough. You need some sort of progression, something that you can build, to keep players, well, playing. 10000000 gives you several rooms that you can repair and then upgrade with wood and stone found from matching those tiles. Those repaired rooms become your upgrades for your physical and magic attacks, shields and armor, and base abilities. You also unlock potions that imbue positive and negative effects, like providing more gold at the expense of wood and stone.
I sat down to review the pc version of 10000000 knowing very little about it. I’ve heard so many people whose opinions I respect raving about the iOS version over the past few months that I was definitely intrigued. I never expected it to grab me the way it did. I did find the hours slipping away. Yes, I intended to do that laundry that has been accumulating on my floor, but I’ll do it after just one more run. I only need a bit more experience to get my next perk and it’s not like those clothes are going anywhere. I still haven’t done that laundry, but I did hit 10000000.
Managing your board is the real challenge of 10000000. Yes, combos help, but if you’re up against monsters you can do all the combos of keys and materials in the world, you’re still going to die if you don’t get a sword or magic match. you want a board filled with swords, magic and keys so you’re ready for any situation. It doesn’t help that there are challenged that give you bonus materials and ranks that give you harder monsters and larger score multipliers to keep that addiction going. One bad board only means I have to go again so I can finish this level and get the bigger multiplier and get ever closer to 10000000.
I’m not even that big of a fan of endless runners or match 3 games. I got my fill with everything that came before. Somehow 10000000 managed to break through that and really hook me. It was the clear goal. I had something to work to, something to accomplish. It wasn’t just a list of challenges, there is a win state that is attainable without pouring tens of hours into such a little game. This is one of the best ‘small’ experiences I’ve had. It’s too bad isn’t on Android or I would have bought a copy so I could play on my phone as well. 10000000 is well worth the asking price and I can’t recommend it highly enough.