Welcome to our Is that a good premium mobile game series. In this series we look at games from both the App Store and the Play Store and review them. At the end of the article we try to answer the question – Is the current game a one of the best smartphone games? Is it a good free mobile game? For this review, we’re looking at Scaventurez by Quan Giang!
Is Scaventurez a good premium match 3 mobile game?
Your Answer Upfront:
While there are some annoyances or lackluster features, they shouldn’t deter from the overall feel of the game and it DOES feel like a premium game, which you’d expect from something that isn’t free (and with a development time of three years, according to the developer). Needless to say, Scaventurez scores a very respectable 4/5 in our books and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time.
Scaventurez is developer Quan Giang’s debut game after about three years of development time and it’s a bit of an odd one, to me at least.
For starters, the price tag’s nothing too special. A premium looking and feeling game for $3 on the App Store isn’t uncommon. What is uncommon is seeing IAPs on the store page. What’s actually rare is seeing a $0 price tag on an IAP without there being a promotion or sale going on!
I’m not sure why the Full Moon Pack is free right now (it doesn’t seem to be a limited time deal) or, to be honest, what it really contains aside from “the expansion pack with more content and chapters” . It’s just a really strange decision and hopefully not an indication of things to come later on in the game’s lifecycle.
The second oddity I’ve almost immediately spotted was the claim of it being a “Roguelite Monster Tamer RPG”. There’s a lot going on in that claim. At first glance most of it falls short when you factor in the match 3 mechanic that is essentially the core gameplay, however Scaventurez somehow manages to hold up, despite its somewhat simplistic nature. I’m not that big a fan of match games, but Scaventurez has definitely got something to it, enough to have kept me playing for a substantial chunk.
My only real complaint with the claim of it being an RPG is the somewhat lacking story. There is some manner of backstory that establishes the setting, however that doesn’t seem to be developed throughout the game, making it a bit less enticing to keep on pushing forward at times (which is what all good RPGs do).
What Scaventurez does well is stick to the very classical dungeon crawling. With randomized levels in each chapter, it’s definitely not as repetitive as you’d think (this is usually a very big problem with mobile games). It keeps the formula simple and effective: go through levels, find chest key, find chest, fight monsters, get treasure.
While the combat mechanics aren’t stellar, the match 3 system being somewhat luck based (there’s a skill element to take into account, relying on your actual swipe speed and observational skills), it’s interestingly accompanied by the inventory and equipment of your party. Playing to your heroes’ strengths (and weaknesses) can actually make a difference and even compensate for poor match 3 skills. This was VERY surprising and refreshing to see and it gives Scaventurez its own personality.
Another interesting quirk is in the levels themselves.
Split across 4 chapters consisting of 10 levels each, for a total of 40 levels and… here’s the kicker: 40 different parties. Even those are randomized for even more possibilities!
That’s right. Each level comes with its own party to grow and gear up! The game’s name starts to make a bit more sense now, doesn’t it? At first this might seem tedious and repetitive, but it’s actually not. It’s quite refreshing and it means you won’t end up with an overpowered party that can just faceroll through levels at a ridiculous pace.
Speaking of pacing, here’s something I’m not sure how to feel about. Once a level is completed, you’re face with a cooldown timer before you can run it again. While it makes sense to let your party rest up for a while after a hard battle, the game forcing you to play through an entirely different level is a bit of an odd choice, one that has definitely had people complaining. Even after a significant reduction in these cooldown timers, I still find them annoying and unnecessary and don’t really fit in with the game’s pacing and overall progression. That being said, if you’re going from one level to another in succession, the timer more or less doesn’t matter.
I mentioned the randomized parties a couple paragraphs ago and I feel I should expand just a little bit on that. After unlocking each new level you’re given a choice of a “starter” party (out of a random selection). As you progress and collect certain items, you’ll eventually be able to add more spirits to your team (which is where the Monster Tamer part comes in), each with their own strengths and weaknesses. While this can be hit or miss, it definitely adds up to a lot of variation.
While progressing each party you’ll be getting shiny new gear and companions, but there’s a catch: each party member has 5 lives. And we all know what happens when you run out of lives. Sadness happens (especially after you’ve invested a lot of time in leveling and gearing up). Fortunately, there’s rare drops that restore these lives, at least partially, so you can hang onto your favorite water elemental just a bit longer.
Unfortunately, I’ve had some performance issues with the game crashing and having progress rolled back to the start of the particular session. Hopefully this issue will get resolved soon and it’s not really unexpected in a game’s first month after release.
I have to admit that my initial impression of the game was not good. It was almost at the point where I would normally not even attempt to write a review based on the lack of actual content. Thankfully, because of the way we review games and try to go as in-depth as we can to form a fairly good idea of how the game plays out, this wasn’t the case (I go through dozens of games every month and most of them don’t make it to the review stage as they’re either unremarkable or just don’t have enough in them to write about). Scaventurez is definitely a case of “don’t judge a book by its cover” and many people are guilty of hastily dismissing what could turn out to be a hidden gem.
Normally I don’t look into how developers react to criticism or reviews (most of them don’t bother to go further than generic replies and development roadmaps are usually kept internal). While doing due diligence and checking up on reactions to the title, I’ve found that quite a few features have been added or adjusted due to direct feedback and back-and-forth with Quan Gian over on Reddit. For example, colorblind mode and music toggle were added in after the initial release (although I feel as these should have been default, out of the box options to begin with).
Overall, Scaventurez is definitely a title worth checking out. It can be played in easy to manage bite-sized chunks or even in long sessions. It does things right for the most part and where it falls short or does things differently (remember: different isn’t always good), it can usually be ignored or justified to some extent. While there are some annoyances or lackluster features, they shouldn’t deter from the overall feel of the game and it DOES feel like a premium game, which you’d expect from something that isn’t free (and with a development time of three years, according to the developer). Needless to say, Scaventurez scores a very respectable 4/5 in our books and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time.
How to download Scaventurez?
You can use an iPad and to stream the game to your Mac if that’s what you wish. The game is sadly not available for Android.
Where To Next?
We have more reviews of both free and premium mobile games, such as Metal Slug Attack or QB Planets! We also have other articles with tidbits and interesting facts, like this article that answers the question “What is the Number 1 mobile eSports Game” sorted by the prize pool.
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