10 Talismans: Great game with grammatically correct name

Spoiler alert! 10 Talismans is a superb time waster, one of the best. I would have to rate it make biscuits 5 star best buy.

Normally match tile games bore me quickly. The developer really has to develop something interesting to accompany the repetitive “match three” mantra to keep me playing to the end. For example, Chop Sushi includes a narrative, tile matching combat, booby-trapped tile matches and puzzles, but I haven’t found myself compelled to finish and I downloaded it before I downloaded Plants v Zombies and We Rule, which I played through months ago.

I can play three or four levels of Azkend HD at a time, and it’s a great game, but three or four levels is my limit. And Azkend HD has lightining tiles, bomb tiles, hammer tiles and just about any other kind of dramatically explosive tile you can imagine.

What a rush

But 10 Talismans delivers an almost perfect brain jolt, keeping me playing tile after tile, level after level. I can tell you exactly what that jolt is. It’s the dragon tiles that create a series of cascading fireworks that deliver endorphin jolts to every important brain center along with wonderful reinforcing messages announcing that you achieved a perfect combination when you’re not even sure what you did.

I know that other match three games have explosions and cascading effects and “good job you” messages, but I haven’t played any that come to the level of endorphin releasing, instantly gratifying, mothers of all neural rushes time after time after time the way this one delivers them.

It’s like hitting a jackpot on a slots machine ten or twenty times a day, little jackpots, medium jackpots, and, every once in a while the grandmother of jackpots complete with light shows and pinball bells. If I had this game when I was in high school I wouldn’t have become a meth addict.

Okay, I wasn’t a meth addict and the one time I tried it because my debate partner and I were pulling a weekend research marathon and he suggested I should try it just once since his roommate had taken off for the weekend and forgotten to take his stash with him. I spent the weekend running around from my desk to my bookshelf to my card drawers to my briefcase to my desk thinking maybe all the No-Doze I took in high school made me immune to this stuff because the only thing I felt now was irritation and the inability to stop thinking at a thousand words a minute. But on the off chance that I would have been tempted to be a meth addict, this would have definitely diverted my attention.

Then I found out my partner didn’t try the meth himself because “that shit rots your teeth and makes my roommate crazy.” I nearly got myself a new partner.

It’s hard to screen capture the grand mall explosions
but this should give you an idea.

I know that many of you who almost passed your college English class will cringe when I say 10 Talismans. You think it should be 10 “Talismen”. It’s lie the impulse to use “I” at the end of the sentence “It was me.” But a talisman isn’t a subgroup of “man” so “talismans” is correct. That being said, the point of the game is to collect ten talismans by completing 80 levels of play.

You need to complete 80 levels to earn the 10 talismans.

The developers do a lot to keep the game interesting. They provide power tiles that explode or zap similar tiles when you use one of them in a combination of three. What makes this even more fun is that as you match tiles, new tiles replace them and these tiles can also create matches with the tiles that remained on the board. Once tile matching starts to cascade you can hit as many as twenty combinations in a row.

Upping the ante

The developers also increase the challenge at different levels. Even from the beginning it isn’t enough to clear tiles. You have to clear all of the gold tiles on the board, and the only way to break a tile is to match three with the same icon.

You have to match three to break the gold tiles.

You have to clear all of the gold tiles to complete a level.

You can imagine that this wouldn’t be much of a challenge through 80 levels. The developers up the ante at later levels by splitting the board into sections, locking gold tile inside brown tiles and locking brown tiles inside chains. You can earn two hammers that allow you to unlock tiles, but this can still leave you with a major challenge when you need to match three tiles in a column only two rows across and both tiles are chained.

The obstacles increase dramatically at higher levels.

I have discovered that playing 10 Talismans improves you pattern recognition skills. With practice you can not only spot potential multiple matches but moves to create one match that can set up additional matches in the next move. And there’s no way to prepare you for the endorphin rush when you suddenly match three exploding tiles that set off a chain reaction of 20 matches in a row.

Jenny Manytoes rates 10 Talismans

Jenny Manytoes makes biscuits all over 10 Talismans. It’s like chasing a thousand speeding mice in a labyrinth filled with catnip. I would go one better and rate it a best buy.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

Visit my kingdom at totalthinker, and Carol’s at JennyManytoes. Write me at wrgrimoire@gmail.com.

iPad Envy is created entirely using apps from my iPad.
Please email me at iPadenvy@me.com.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
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