Review: The Treasures of Montezuma 4
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||NR - Not Rated|
|Review Published On:||August 12, 2020|
Your progress is automatically saved in your own profile whenever you finish a level or buy anything from the game's store. You can't save in the middle of a level, but you can pause the game by pressing ESC.
Perhaps the gravest concern about this game is that it's built on the concept of ancient magic and the ability of souls to be reborn after death.
The story mode is the main focus of the game, but to be honest, the story itself is little more than a framework that provides the player with a setting and reason to continue. As the opening cutscene explains, the Emperor Montezuma had fallen in love with a woman named Anakaona, and they vowed to be together forever. However, the arrival of Cortez and his armies spelled the end of the Aztec Empire. The gods created a portal to allow the lovers to escape, but while Montezuma made it to safety, Anakaona did not.
However, this was not the end of their love. The Aztecs believed that when someone dies, they would be reborn sometime later as a new person. Thus, many generations later, a young archaeologist found herself inexplicitly drawn to the hidden ziggurat filled with artifacts and statues. Much to her surprise, one of the statues came to life, and explained the situation to her. In order to reunite the lovers across time, you'll need to reopen the magic portal, and that's where the gameplay comes in.
There are seven magical totems nearby, and you'll need their help to open the portal. Each totem holds a ring possessing a set of fourteen challenges. By completing these challenges, you'll earn the magical crystal guarded by that totem. Once all of the crystals have been set in place, the portal will open, and Montezuma and Anakaona can be together again.
Now, I've yet to play any of the other games in the Treasures of Montezuma series, so I can't compare this game to the rest of its franchise. However, I can say that even though a lot of the content is locked away behind in-story milestones, the Treasures of Montezuma 4 ticks all the right boxes for an excellent Match 3 game, and I'd highly recommend this one to anyone who loves Match 3 games and has a lot of time to kill.
Points of Interest
The Puzzle mode allows you to challenge yourself to a eight different Match 3 variations, most of which you'll initially encounter during the story. This time around, when you've completed enough games of a specific type, you'll be rewarded with a random treasure. Each game type has three possible treasures, so finding all twenty four of them will take some effort, and you'll earn a nifty achievement to let everyone know you've accomplished this feat.
Lastly, the Quest mode has you work your way across a map with the goal of locating two halves of a relic. Each space on the map has several challenges, or "quests", for you to complete before you can continue on that path. This mode actually struck me as a bit lackluster; the payoff for finding both parts of the relic is little more than a screen that says "congratulations", after which the quest mode resets.
The Puzzle mode allows you to play an endless number of these alternative games on demand, though the sacred fire game type isn't listed as an option outside of the story mode. I have a suspicion about the reason behind that, but let's leave the spoilers for later.
Concerns and Issues
Cortez on the other hand, is another story altogether, though that's spoiler territory.
On a side note, this is also where the sacred fire mode becomes vitally important. Cortez is using "the power of cold" to cause destruction, so you must counter it with the "the power of fire". This is probably why you don't see the sacred fire mode outside of the story -- it's the game's equivalent of a "battle" scene.