Mashing genres together is pretty common for iPhone games, and ChronoSgear attempts this with Match-3 puzzles and anime-style RPGs. We aren’t saying that this mash-up is brand new, but Axion Logic has added a layer of strategic depth not usually seen in similar games.
ChronoSgear’s story could be described as Grand Theft Auto meets Back to the Future. You play as Starck, a member of the Amici family mafia who must go back in time and kill the family’s rival, General Vincenti, before he becomes a threat. When put to cheerful anime graphics, it can be hard to take the story seriously, but we weren’t expecting much on this front anyway.
The majority of your time spent with ChronoSgear will be duking it out against family rivals in Match-3 battles. In order to win, you must swap different colored units into formations of three. Stacking them vertically creates an attack formation, while creating a row of three turns the units into shields.
You can perform three actions per turn, like moving, deleting, or refilling units. In order to win a match, you must deplete your enemy’s soul by getting your attacking units to the other side of the grid. In-depth, interactive tutorials help you grasp every aspect of this system.
Like Critter Crunch, but with less indigestion.
As complicated as this sounds, you’ll pick up on the system quickly. The real challenge is utilizing more powerful hero units, which take two similarly colored normal units to charge, and knowing when to attack or defend to your advantage. Unfortunately, once you master this, you’ll win every time, since both your units and the enemy’s units never change.
ChronoSgear’s RPG elements hold it back quite a bit. We often had to slowly grind up several levels through random encounters in order to defeat bosses that were far too difficult for that point in the game. This difficulty curve can be a drag if you despise level grinding.
Besides the campaign, ChronoSgear also features local multiplayer on a single device. Considering the depth of the gameplay, it isn’t the optimal game to pull out for a quick match with a friend, and sharing an iPhone screen isn’t exactly convenient, but we commend Axion Logic for the effort.
The level grinding is a bit of a downer, but we still had a lot of fun with ChronoSgear’s battle sequences. If you’re intrigued by the idea of a Match-3/RPG hybrid, you wont be disappointed.