Game Review: Gematombe (PS4, PS5, Switch, XBox)

Gematombe is a block-breaker puzzle game in a similar vein to titles such as Puzzle Bobble. I recall hours lost to the addictive gameplay of games that sit within this genre and Gematombe is largely no different. I say largely because unfortunately, it’s over much too quickly.

Gematombe – Short, But Sweet

I played the PS5 version and was able to achieve the platinum in a few hours. Admittedly, trophies aren’t everything but once that’s done, there really isn’t much to go back for as you’ve pretty much exhausted the available content. That said, despite the relative shortness, this game still has a lot going for it and I would recommend to fans of the genre for something to do until the next Puzzle Bobble game.

In Brief

The basic premise revolves around a cast of colourful characters, each with different perks ‘battling’ to defeat the big bad; Khaos. There are six characters to play as (one of which being Khaos which switches the last battle for that story). Each character has five or six stages where the aim is to fire the ball to clear the advancing coloured blocks. so far, very familiar.

A Novel Twist

What Gematombe does to differentiate itself (not that it hasn’t been done before), is to introduce a battle element. You go up against one of the other characters and can either complete against the CPU or another player. As you clear blocks from your side, you make them appear in your opponents area. The aim is either to clear your own board or overwhelm your opponents. Progress can be helped by unique abilities possessed by each character.

The gameplay can be a little repetitive as several stages have the same initial layout of blocks which leads to simply remembering how you did it last time rather than coming up with a new way to defeat a level.

Looking Good

Presentation-wise, this game is very colourful and very attractive due to the colours and the character designs. The characters remind me of Teen Titans Go in terms of their overall aesthetic. Each of the six characters is distinct and has design cues inspired by the Greek myths. It’s very much in keeping with it’s arcade roots, even down to an echoey-voice yelling “Gematombe” upon vanquishing your opponent. Little touches like that elevate the game and give me that feeling of being in an old-school arcade. Very much appreciated.

Final Thoughts

Overall, while my time with Gematombe was short, I had fun and enjoyed the addictive gameplay., I just wish there was more to it. A few more game modes would’ve been very welcome. It’s very much a throwback to puzzle games of yesterday and doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look if you’re a fan of this particular type of game.

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