Fans of the ever brilliant 10,000,000 by EightyEightGames need to know little more than this is a sequel to that dearly adored title. It’s hybrid of RPG–style progression and puzzle–based tile matching had enough depth to keep masses of us coming back for more, yet a single play could easily be crammed into the time before the next bus inevitably turned up late. Plus, it didn’t require a constant internet connection to keep everything moving. For huge swathes of people, it was the ultimate mobile game.
#YMBAB is almost identical to 10,000,000. Except rather than escaping some murky, old prison, you now need to, well, build a boat. To build this titular boat, you need to obliterate the various beasties you come across during each swiftly completed tile matching run. Then with the gold, stone, and other currencies you gain during these short bursts of excitement, you get stronger, faster, and able to push just that little bit further next time.
You essentially do the same thing each time you load this up. You’ll level up the various attacks and defenses you have (and maybe even purchase a brand new beast to help you on your travels) before rushing out into the darkness for a bout of beast bashing and chest opening action. Each time you’ll get a new set of challenges to beat in order to gain even larger and wilder prizes, but for the most part you’ll be playing to boost your currency levels so you can maybe ensure your attacks do an extra 0.1 percent damage next time. Progression can seem slow, but single runs can take as little as 30 seconds, so if the figures were ramped up any higher, you’d fly through this in a matter of half an hour.
It sounds repetitive. And in all honesty, it is. But this twist on the old icon matching gameplay is simply top notch. There’s a big mass of tiles on screen, each doing slightly different things. Match three or more, and that action will be played out by your tiny character rushing along the top of the screen. There are various attacks that give you the chance to unlock the many chests you’ll stumble across, as well as boost some stats, earn extra currency, and break open boxes for new items. It’s overwhelming at first, particularly for newcomers to the series. But after a half a dozen tries you know exactly what you’re doing, and you’ll be flinging columns and matching tiles like it’s the most natural thing you could be doing with your horrifically expensive smartphone.
You can see that this isn’t the most graphically intensive game in the world. But the action is so quick paced, and there’s so many things for your eyes to focus on, that it absolutely doesn’t matter a jot. I’m sure the developer(s) could double their budget and development time and make everything look so much nicer for people to take screenshots, but what would that achieve? Next to bugger all. The aesthetics are overwhelmingly charming. Something that can’t be said for a lot of the bigger budget titles out there on mobile devices for a similar or vastly higher price.
How you like your mobile gaming may play the largest part in deciding whether #YMBAB is for you or not. If you want short bursts of fun, then you can’t do much better than this. It’s less than a coffee for heaven’s sake. If you’re the kind of person who wants to sit and play a mobile game for a half hour straight, you’ll undoubtedly tire of it much more quickly thanks to it’s admittedly repetitive nature. Although if that’s the case I’d be more worried about the future of your eyesight than anything else.
#YMBAB is the epitome of what a mobile game should be, at least to me. It’s great fun in small doses. It’s easy enough that you’ll get to grips with things in the first few minutes, but has more than enough depth to keep you coming back after half a dozen hours. And most of all it has that mysterious ‘X factor’ that all games need to be spoken about as one of the very best. For it’s meager price, you’re a fool if you fail to give it a try.
Now go grab that mobile, you’ve got a bloomin’ boat to build!
Who would have thought carpentry could be so much bloomin' fun?!
Repetitive it might be, but when that one trick is this chock-full of addiction, it's one you'll want to enjoy again and again.