Level 24 ($0.99) by Super Mad Games is a puzzle game about growing civilization from rags to riches, and it’s rather addictive. If you enjoyed games like Triple Town, Topsoil, and even Threes, then you will love what Level 24 has to offer.
When I’m under a lot of stress, I like to take a breather and sit down with some relaxing puzzle games on my iPhone. For me, it’s simply the best way for me to take my mind off of reality for a while and just chill out, while stimulating my brain at the same time. I’ve gone through a ton of puzzle games on the App Store, especially during my time here at AppAdvice, but I can’t help it — I’m always on the lookout for new ones to keep me busy. When I saw Level 24 on the App Store, I knew that I had to have it, and I’m definitely not let down.
Game Plays Like
Game Plays Like
Visually, Level 24 has a unique low-poly, cel shaded style that is both quirky and charming. While the game is rendered mostly in 2-D, there is a bit of shading detailing that makes each individual tile pop with depth. Since the game is about watching civilization evolve and grow, the tiles represent chunks of Earth, so you get to see the layers of crust on each square, as well as a type of building or object from various time period on top. The colors of the tile also give you a good sign of what era you’re dealing with, and it’s fun to watch everything come together and become modern as you play. The color palette in Level 24 ranges from muted earth tones (of course) to bold and vibrant hues, and there are even some nice particle effects as you transition from game to menu and leaderboards. The heroes that you can collect and earn are great representations of their real life counterparts, and serve as a symbol for their time. Animations are smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 7, and there is a whimsical soundtrack and bubbly sound effects that are downright delightful. Overall, Level 24 is a fantastic package in terms of visual and audio design for a puzzle game.
There is only one game mode in Level 24, but honestly that’s all you need with a simple puzzle game such as this one. The main goal of the game is to tap and match the tiles on the board until you get to level 24 (hence the name), which is the ultimate future living of the human race — living in space. However, getting to the destination is harder than you think, and the game is all about the journey there. It’s a puzzle game that is a high score chaser, similar to Threes, but the heroes that you unlock give you nice bonuses during play, so you’ll want to strive to get them all.
The controls in Level 24 are simple enough. Each game consists of a board that’s full of tiles. A number badge in the corner of each square represents the level of the tiles in that cluster. Your goal is to tap on the groups of tiles that have at least two squares in them to condense them down into one tile that becomes a higher tier. The main destination is to eventually get a tile that is level 24, but that’s harder said than done. If you are unable to make any more matches, then the round is over and your score is tallied up with bonuses from applicable heroes.
While the game seems easy, there’s a lot of planning involved, and you want to strategically tap on the right point of a cluster so that it falls downward in a good spot for further matching. If you get stuck, there are also power-up items that you can use (though limited in supply), which include shuffling the board, undo, and detonating a single block. While you can get more power-ups by completing missions, some heroes will grant you bonus items, which can prove to be advantageous. Heroes range from Ghandi to Confucius and Marilyn Monroe to Steve Jobs. Each character has unique abilities that affect the game, and they’re unlocked by meeting certain achievements, so you’ll want to keep playing if you are a completionist and need everything. Up to three heroes can be equipped before starting each round.
For those who are competitive, Level 24 also has a daily tournament mode where you can compete with players all over the world for the best score. To accomplish this, you’ll need good heroes on your team and this will take some time, so there is plenty of replay value involved.
A matching puzzle game that is all about building up a civilization.
Level 24 offers up fresh new puzzle gameplay that anyone can pick up and learn, and it's rather relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The graphics are cute and stylish, and the music is fun to listen to along with the bubbly sound effects. While the game's description did mention swipe controls, it's more like taps, which is more intuitive and the use of 3-D Touch to destroy tiles with bombs is great. Level 24 has a lot of replay value since you have a ton of heroes to collect and global leaderboards each day.
The gameplay, while addictive and fun, does get a tad repetitive since there is only one game mode. There should be more modes added in the future, such as a puzzle mode where you have to complete a board in only a certain number of turns, or an endless mode even.
I’ve only downloaded Level 24 this morning, but I’m finding it to be pretty hard to put down. I’m in love with the unique visual style and the sounds, and the heroes are nicely detailed to remain true to their counterparts. The gameplay is easy to learn but hard to master, and while things may get a tad repetitive, it’s still a good time sink when you have some downtime throughout the day.
I recommend giving Level 24 a try if you’re a fan of puzzles and want something refreshing. You can find Level 24 on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $0.99. There is also an iMessage sticker pack.