Treasure Stack was revealed back in August of 2018 at one of Nintendo’s many Indie Preview Showcases. I remember being at my desk, taking notes. And I remember that particular direct being rather bland. But, I remember writing in the Discord during the presentation “That looks like a ME game”. Fast forward to February 19th when I received my review code. I was stoked! I had a brand new puzzle game that I was given close to two weeks before to review. So, how does it stack up to the competition? Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Treasure Stack is a game developed and published by PIXELAKES. According to the eShop page, this game features “a wide variety of modes, whether you’re testing you skills in Challenge Mode, partying up with friends in 4-Player Local Versus, or taking on the rest of the world in Online Versus.” Therein lies my first complaint from this game.
If you look at the above image, which is admittedly difficult to read on this web page, what do you see? I see Online Play (divided into Season, Casual, and Competitive, none of which worked during the review period), Solo Play, which allowed you to only do a solo match, Local Party, which I did not test for reasons I will go into later, Collections, which lets you change your online character, Records, and Settings. Nowhere on there could I find Challenge mode. I would also like to note here that the developer asked reviewers to reach out during the review period if we had any questions, but I did not receive a response from my e-mail to them.
The game itself, is a block stacker. What you do, is stack locked treasure boxes up, and a key that touches a series of connecting locked treasure boxes of the same color will eliminate those boxes and net you coins. Those coins at the end of the match, will net you new characters and hooks you can use in future matches. Like Rocket League, all of the unlockables are purely cosmetic. Unlike Rocket League, in my 10 or so hours with the game, I did not find one that I really liked enough to feel worth the effort to unlock. They also seem to be random unlocks. Treasure Stack’s eShop page claims that there are many familiar faces. The 20 or so I have found are not recognizable to me. Although, it is a possibility I am not as familiar with Indie games as I used to be.
This game is, at the time of writing, on pre-sale for $17.99, and will regularly retail for $19.99. When I looked up the price of this game, I was immediately turned off. While Solo and Local Multiplayer were playable during the review period. I do not feel like those two modes together are worth more than about $6.99. I would also like to note, that there is almost no music in this game. I only heard about 3 distinct, unmemorable tracks. I do not feel like the online multiplayer merits an additional $13.00. I will play it after launch, and if my thoughts change, I will write an update to this review.
My final complaint about this game, is the steep learning curve. It wasn’t until about hour 7 that I really felt like I had a firm grasp on the mechanics and the controls. Not to mention, the controls feel very intuitive. Most games I play have kind of a standard jump/grab/extra action. Jump is done with X on the Nintendo Switch, and I can’t even remember the other controls without booting up the game, because they are that unintuitive. I know that the grapple requires you to press up and one of the other buttons, which in a puzzle game is very cumbersome. Especially when you are using a controller that has 2 joysticks and 10-12 extra buttons. Even a controller mapping function would have been nice.
Now, I feel bad writing several hundred words complaining about all the negative about a game. This game does have a single redeeming feature I can see. This game supports Cross Platform Online play! I know this game was also announced on Xbox One, and once the game launches (later today, as you read this article), that online play will unlock. I will be testing out the online when I come back from my trip, and if my overall opinion changes, I will most certainly update this article. But, at the time of writing, my review stands.
Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for a puzzle game with the same, or possibly a little more depth, that also includes 2 full platformers, pick up Mutant Mudds Collection.