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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz

For: PS Vita

Freemi-umm...

Product: Treasures of Montezuma Blitz | Developer: Smart Phone Labs | Publisher: Alawar Entertainment | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
 
Treasures of Montezuma Blitz PS Vita, thumbnail 1
As the first foray into freemium gaming on the Vita, Treasures of Montezuma Blitz represents a big step forward for handheld consoles, which so far have failed to embrace in-app purchases.

So it's a pity that the game is a run-of-the-mill match-three puzzler, beset by a few technical shortcomings and premium content that feels miserly.

Match-free

On first appearance Treasures of Montezuma Blitz is your typical Bejeweled clone: line-up a minimum of three jewels of the same colour horizontally or vertically to remove them from play and score. More jewels then fall from the top of the screen, filling up the empty spaces on the board.

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Some jewels also contain crystals, which add to your points total and serve as currency for power-ups. You can also earn power-ups by increasing your XP and by extension your 'rank'.

You can build substantial scores in other ways, such as by destroying multiple jewels at once to gain a combo, or connecting lines of four or more jewels at once.

There's also a vial of sand on the left-hand side of the screen that gradually drains unless you add to it by scoring regularly. Max it out and you activate a Score Frenzy, which nets you bonus points.

Though you can use the D-pad to make your moves, it's much simpler to swap jewels with a swipe of the touchscreen. 

Time is money

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz's two biggest problems relate to time. It takes 40 seconds to load up and start a game from the Vita's main menu: the initial loading screen is slow, and automatically connecting to SEN takes its toll. It's not what you want in a casual puzzler.

And its business model of charging money for play time is just as abrasive. You're given five plays for free which gradually restock over time, or you can pay for another round of five games at a cost of 79p. Each game lasts 60 seconds, so you're looking at a further five minutes of enjoyment. That's £9.48 an hour.

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz has the fundamentals of a decent match-three game. The controls are decent, the visuals are clean, and there are enough additional systems of scoring to keep things interesting.

But it takes too long to get into games, and once you're in you'll pay out the nose to stay there.
 
Treasures of Montezuma Blitz
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 12 April 2012
A decent Bejeweled clone with horrifically expensive micro-transactions and long load times, the Vita's first freemium title is a misplaced first step into the brave new world of free games on portables
 
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Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
1
BRENDOTHEJET | 21:24 - 6 July 2012
So ive been playing this game for a week or so now and I find that its not deserving of all the whinging that gets thrown at it. Ive hit level 23 without spending a cent and am consistently topping my friends list.

IMO its all about the strategy of when to use your crystals to buy power-ups. dont play with PU every single game or you will be grinding. Wait until you are getting good scores and in "the zone" and then go for broke.

The game is as free as you want it to be. Stop complaining or it will be the last free game that comes to the VITA and I for one want to see as many as possible.
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
1
neenah | 14:04 - 3 July 2012
Oh but now they have updated the whole thing so it is easier to level up.!!!
ABOUT TIME
Joined:
Nov 2010
Post count:
3
Laserbrain | 15:49 - 24 April 2012
Bummer.

Didnt realise that in-game credit wasn't just based solely on crystals, so even if you have 1000k of crystals, you still cant play 5 consecutive games unless you buys extra games :(

Doh!
Joined:
Nov 2010
Post count:
3
Laserbrain | 15:19 - 24 April 2012
This morning I won 40000 crystals on the daily scratch card, the next highest before that was 2000 a couple of weeks ago. I guess if you play a bit every day, you have a chance to earn some free credits, buts it's just your luck really.

still worth a pop, without having to fork out. :)
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
1
didimo63 | 03:17 - 24 April 2012
This game is a rip-off. Yes, I can wait a few minutes to play 5 more lives “for free”. Yes, I can play the daily “scratch’n win” game and get “free” gems. Yes, I have been playing it extensively for free, a few hours a day for a week now. And then I started noticing that the game is programmed to make it impossible for you to level up UNLESS you buy stuff. Have you noticed how your first daily game is typically high-scoring, but then the more you play the more difficult it gets to get scores above 10,000 without items? With 10 or less awarded gems per game? I’m an experienced player (heck, I’ve been playing videogames since 1976!), and this game is a real scam. A sad attempt to cash in for repeated (and ultimately pointless) transactions. Highly frustrating (unless you fork out a lot of money, then the game becomes “surprisingly” instantly gratifying, making you score like crazy. Avoid.
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
1
Jeegee | 20:02 - 22 April 2012
lives regenerate at a rate of one-up every 5 minutes so you get 6 lives to go at if you wait 25 minutes. You can save up crystals over a few days of playing and scratching before going for a weekly highscore session. So with that in mind, it's good for playing before and after work, at break times, 1st thing in morning
Joined:
Nov 2010
Post count:
3
Laserbrain | 12:39 - 22 April 2012
I'm enjoying the game, and other than the initial load times, I think its a pretty good effort. I'm not a fan of the freemium model though, and I'd much rather buy the game outright that pay 79p for a bunch of extra plays (only 5!!) and so far I'm managed to play this game for a couple of weeks every day or so without having to spend any money at all.

A couple of points missed from the review though, using NEAR, you can sometime receive new goodies, in way of crystals, (in game currency), that you use to play further games (each game play requires 200 crystals) or upgrade or buy new powerups. Also you receive a daily scratch card, which if you match the correct patterns, can win a few thousand crystals at a time.

Cheers,

Laserbrain
Joined:
Oct 2009
Post count:
6
KLF | 16:35 - 17 April 2012
Well, doesn't this is real free to play? But I agree, to buy lives to play today is a little too much.
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
1
pcaston2 | 13:28 - 13 April 2012
You get more lives the next day, so what should you do about that?
Maybe hit the PS button, open the Settings window to the manual date change, advance the date, hit done, go back to TOM Blitz. Keep playing!
 
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