When Treasure Stack was first announced, many fans considered it a spiritual successor to Wario Woods. a popular game for the SNES. This immediately gained the project a fair bit of notoriety; at least among the fans of the old Nintendo console.
If you never owned a SNES before, let’s just say that Treasure Stack is a deceptive game about grappling chests as they drop from the sky and stacking them up neatly. This may seem simple, and it is. Until things get frantic!
Laying A Solid Foundation
Some of the best games I have ever played have also been the simplest. I grew up adoring Peggle; one of the simplest ideas a game developer can have. You just shoot a little ball and destroy little blocks and rack up the biggest score you can.
I also spent many of my computer lessons playing on bejeweled. This is another solid, simple game with a simple concept. My point is that it’s harder each year to find games that understand the power of simplicity. Luckily, the team at PIXELAKES gets it. Simple does not mean easy, it just means anyone can pick up and enjoy a game.
In Treasure Stack, you start each round in a small room. Above you, two objects will float down. These can either be chests, keys or items such as bombs to help with removing the chests. The chests and keys come in an assortment of colours. Just match the colours and you can unlock a chest, and any adjacent chest of the same colour.
Getting To Grips With It All
To help speed up the gameplay, the player has a grappling hook to yank down the chests as they fall. Once I got used to remembering I had this tool, I was zipping around the screen as a man possessed. This is pretty much the game summed up. It is simple, and I love that about Treasure Stack.
Though, as I said above, simple doesn’t mean easy. It quickly becomes clear that this is a game that is easy to learn but hard to master. Like always, I got a bit too over confident. And pretty soon I discovered that Treasure Stack is not an easy game at all.
It took me a solid few rounds to realize I would have to plan my stacking out more. Throwing chests and keys anywhere was not going to get me far; using a sword on a row with only one block was a waste of the scarce items.
And to make things worse, every so often blocks would come and add themselves to the top of each stack. These would be removed with items or by opening chests next to them, but these blocks could end a round quickly if I weren’t ready for them.
Share The Treasure
I was playing on the Nintendo Switch for this review. The review key came a great time because as a family we were going to see some relatives who live about an hour away. So my brother and I had a few hours to try out the multiplayer in Treasure Stack.
This mode’s mostly more of the same except when you add that little bit of competition there is pride on the line. I will be the first to admit my bother is better at this kind of puzzle game than I am. Much better!
Treasure Stack unleashed an animal within him, and I lost almost every single round. It was also nearly the most fun we have had being stuck in the back of a car, and that is only because we encountered a few minor issues. After every round, for example, the game sent us back to the main menu.
This wasn’t too bad a bug, but just more of an annoyance. The main issue, however, was closely linked to what I just mentioned. As we were traveling, my Switch understandably was not connected to the internet.
For some reason, every time we were kicked back to the main menu, the game decided to alert me to this fact and then spend about half a minute looking for a connection. Sadly this somewhat soured the experience – not enough to ruin it, but definitely enough to get annoying!
Treasure Stack, Fun Or Flop?
The team at PIXELAKES have indeed created something special here. The game is fast and fun; it’s superbly simple, but it has a tough challenge to it that keeps me going back for more. Treasure Stack feels right at home on my Switch and I like to sit down when I have a spare ten minutes to myself and play a few rounds.
In the end, this is an indie game that, despite the very few issues I have encountered, I have enjoyed and plan on continuing to enjoy for a long time to come. it’s fun, frantic and simple and I love it for that!