“Crystals of Amalgam” by Alex Ferreira Costa, Dotto Meister & Ove Mella.
“Your ship has been pulled into an interdimensional gap and is now trapped within a field of crystal orbs. Match [three] or more orbs to destroy them. Mix primary colors to get a secondary color, or secondary colors to get a silver orb! Silver orbs will give you special powers when you match them. But be aware that time is your enemy.”
Personally, I am not a big fan of the traditional tile-matching genre, but “Crystals of Amalgam” knows how to make some great use of it! You control a spaceship which can collect up to three orbs. From last to first, you can shoot them back and whenever three or more orbs of the same color are directly combined thanks to your shot, they will disappear. When the hourglass managed to do a full spin, a new line of orbs appears. That may sound pretty conventional up to this point, but two little mechanics spice the whole concept up.
Remember the PICO-8 Jam 2 submission “Combo Pool”, where colored billiard balls of different colors were able to merge into a ball of another color? That amazing color blending mechanic can be found in “Crystals of Amalgam” as well! As soon as one orb of a primary color collides with an orb of another primary color, they will merge to an orb of a secondary color: Blue and red equal pink, red and green equal yellow and so on. That can make it a bit difficult to plan your next moves when you are in a rush, but it also makes the whole experience a lot more intense.
Also, when one orb of a secondary color collides with an orb of another secondary color, this will create a gray orb. When three gray orbs are adjacent to each other, they will disappear and leave a special silver orb behind. Those can be seen as a sort of ‘power-up’. When you shoot them, they will either destroy a whole horizontal or vertical line or cause a mass explosion. All these features make “Crystals of Amalgam” a stunning little arcade game with a pretty unique concept and high replayability value. [PLAY]