By Peter Richardson
Treasure Stack’s title in two words perfectly sums up what you will be doing for the whole game. There are treasure chests, and you stack them. At its core it’s an action puzzle game, with you taking control of the character trapped in this perpetual nightmare of falling chests and bombs. Armed with just a grappling hook and your (hopefully) quick reflexes, it’s up to you to match the keys and stop the boxes from reaching to top for reasons unknown. All this while blocks appear at your feet.
The gameplay is easy to pick up, with the controls being simply movement, jump and grapple, and pick up/down. The difficulty of Treasure Stack comes from the nuances within this system: making sure to grapple blocks to speed up their landing, having to time jumps to make sure you pick up the right combination of blocks and not being gridlocked by the blocks spawning in.
As a result, the game has the premise of many a great puzzle game; being easy to learn, but difficult to master. This has made it something that has been excellent to pick up and play in quick bursts on the bus, sitting for an hour and trying to grind your way to a new high score or play online to see if you can outrace someone on the other side of the world (possibly on their PC due to the cross-platform multiplayer).
All of this is complemented by 8-Bit graphics which, while simple, have been used to create stunning backdrops of castles and sunsets. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite come through to the sprites used for the actual puzzles. These are effective and clear, but basic compared to the vistas they are surrounded by.
These sprites, while not being some of the most beautiful aspects of Treasure Stack, are what kept me wanting to play. As you play, you unlock new character sprites and grappling hooks. Despite their simplicity, this kept me intrigued enough to see what I could get next.
After all this, from a gameplay perspective, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who wants to sink hours into casually smashing chests and can’t wait to find that new sprite.
The gameplay is fun and accessible, yet challenging enough to keep
I give Treasure Stack a 5/10, but if I could play it for 50 hours, 8/10.
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