10000000“, which is a pain to type, so we’re calling it “10 Mil”, is a (wait for it) retro-style, endless dungeon crawling, puzzle matching, RPG. Yeah, it’s weird, but don’t let the plethora of classifications throw you off.

Your character (a fedora-wearing, pixellated man) wakes up in a strange area with several boarded up rooms and one big door leading to some dungeons. From there you have one goal: get 10,000,000 points to escape. Getting the points is where the fun begins.

In order to rack up the coveted 10 million points (at time of review, I had only managed to accumulate about 600,000, so don’t think you’ll be done in a day) you have to run through various infinitely spawning dungeons, fighting off enemies and collecting stuff, to rack up the numbers. In you’re off time you can use wood, gold, stone, and experience gained from dungeons to both open up the rooms I mentioned earlier, and upgrade skills (better armor, more sword damage, more magic damage, etc.) Then, as you progress, your character can go through dungeons with tougher enemies, but better score multipliers. So it sounds like a traditional dungeon crawler, right? That’s where the dev strips out direct control over your character and instead puts a big puzzle matching game on 80% of the screen (not on the homescreen, that’d be stupid). No, no, it’s not a bad thing, let me explain it.

Since you don’t have direct control, your character is sent, on-rails, running to the right of the screen, revealing more of the infinite dungeon along the way. Get hit by too many attacks, or fail to unlock a chest or door in time, and your character runs out of time and falls out of the left side of the screen (think timed Mario levels where the screen was chasing you). Here’s where the puzzle board comes in. You control your character’s actions by matching tiles, based on the task you need to complete. If you run into a chest, you need to match key tiles. If you run into an enemy, you need to match sword or wand tiles to damage/kill the monster, and so on. You also have special tiles you can match during moments when you’re not stuck on a chest or monster, like backpack tiles that give you items (which you can use to damage monsters, unlock doors, or give your character a jump away from the left side of the screen), shields that absorb damage, and wood and stone that can be used to unlock the fore mentioned doors on the home level. As you’ve probably guessed, the more matches you get, the better the effects of the tiles are (double unlocks, critical damage, etc.). It takes an almost no “getting used to” stage, and it quickly becomes addictive. All in all, the puzzle matching is a well-integrated addition to the tired dungeon crawling genre, and it’s just plain fun.

So it seems good so far, right? Well, it is, and honestly you could just stop reading this right now, go buy the game, and have a great time. But me being me, I do have to criticize something. So I managed to wrangle up some stuff to harp on.

Probably the thing that bothered me the most is the game’s demand on your multitasking skills (Which I already have none, so there you go). Say you’ve just beaten a monster, and you’re trying to match some stone and wood tiles to clear them off of the board to make space for some swords or whatnot. You then run into another monster. Now in a normal dungeon crawler, you’d see the monster and be prepared well ahead of time, but in 10 Mil, by the time you see the monster, you’re generally already fighting it (on-rails, remember?). Now, remember how I mentioned that the puzzle board takes up most of the screen? Well, since you’ll be focusing on the board to create matches, having to look up at where the actual crawling is happening to see if you are stuck at a chest, door, or monster, then looking back at the board to try and find a corresponding match, can get overwhelming. Add to the screen, all the items you collect (which you have to tap to use), and the score, and THEN the fact that in hectic moments the tile sensitivity on the board seems to get picky before recognizing a match…and the game can turn flat-out frustrating. No! This is no game breaker, but I wonder if it could have been handled better (some text on the puzzle board reading “Monster!” or something).

I could also mention the aesthetics. The graphics aren’t original (it seems more games are doing pixel style nowadays than actual 3D graphics), although there’s nothing wrong with them. And the bit-soundtrack (beep-boop) is simplistic and nothing of note, but it’s not irritating either.

In Conclusion

Don’t let these mild complaints deter you though: I still recommend 10 Mil. If you have an absolute hatred for puzzle-matching games (“hatred” as in one killed your family) then I could see a reason to not play it, but for all others, it definitely deserves a spot on your iPhone.