PS4 Review: Match Village

How minimalist is too minimalist?

Match Village is a minimalist puzzle and strategy experience about matching buildings to build villages on colourful islands. Match buildings to create your villages and cities on endless islands around the world and enjoy the minimalistic and relaxing atmosphere. No resource management or armies, focus only on building.

Match Village takes its inspiration from games like Civilization Revolution, but they have minimalised the strategy sim even further by not having armies, enemies who invade or resource management. The game doesn’t even give you a tutorial, it instead throws you straight into the wild hoping that you’ve played similar games and have a fair idea of what to do.

You get tiles that you place on hexagons which will combine to make new buildings and get you a high score if placed strategically well. The object is to reach a certain high score before the game will let you move on to the next stage, which has a different layout introduces other elements like placing tiles in water and so on, which again would have been nice to know if the game had a tutorial.

It also doesn’t help that you can’t pan the camera, but instead can only rotate it left and right. This makes placing tiles a pain and getting the right view can become problematic, sometimes leading to placing the tile in the wrong place. Some tiles actually have give you minus points if placed in the wrong area, so a mistake like this through no fault of your own can cost you dearly.

The game has a charming look to it, but it too is simplistic in it’s visuals. The music is chilled and there doesn’t ever seem to be a rush to things, plus the framerate was solid throughout.

The Verdict

Match Village is perhaps too simplistic for its own good. The lack of a tutorial to teach you the basics is disappointing and the camera does not make thing any easier for the player. It can be fun in small doses, but there are far better strategy sims out there.

Score: 6.0