Templar 2048 Game Review
We distinctly remember getting our Facebook news feed flooded with screenshots of the mobile game 2048 back in 2014. Our friends proudly displayed those photos as badges of honor, and with good reason — getting the number 2048 takes some planning and a lot of luck. 2048 has since spawned numerous clones, and here we review one of them — Templar 2048.
Templar 2048 is one of the original 17 games that Facebook included in the Instant Games feature of their Messenger app. However, unlike the downloadable iOS or Android native versions of the game that has upgrade-able “stories” (themes like Orcs, Princess, etc.), the Messenger version includes only the Templar Story theme. Some of the features mentioned in this review are not found in the latter.
The game features 16-bit pixel artwork. The numbered tiles in the original 2048 game are represented by little characters, and instead of a 2 dimensional board, they stand on 3D pillars.
There are 12 characters that you can form by combining similar tiles. They are ordered by rank from a lowly peasant who doesn’t even own a hat, to a humble infantry man, to a crowned king riding a glorious stallion.
The nerd in us figured that if each character stood for a number starting with 2, then there should only be 11 characters, right? But since the game has 12, it should have been called “Templar 4096”. We guess that’s not as catchy as Templar 2048.
Vonvon Inc., the game developers, did a nice job on the characters’ designs. They’ve certainly made getting a higher rank better than just getting a higher number. Anticipating the completion of all 12 characters is part of the enjoyment of this game.
In all respects, the game mechanics are exactly the same as the original 2048. (“original 2048” is actually an oxymoron, since it is itself a clone of 1024, which in turn is a clone of Threes). You similarly swipe the tiles to 4 different directions to combine them.
Combining 2 tiles of the same number (or character) results to a tile with a higher value (or rank). For example, combining 2 peasants results to a pitchfork-holding, straw hat-wearing farmer. You get more points when you combine higher ranked characters.
Peasant guy must come from somewhere, and the game devs decided that 2 blank green tiles should be his precursor. He just literally appears out of nowhere. We wonder if this is laziness on the part of the creative department, or if there is some clever (or maybe sinister?) logic behind it.
Every now and then a character appears with a coin, and pairing it with another lets you collect it.
Coins are used to buy more themes, which are called stories in the game. We haven’t accumulated enough coins yet to buy the cheapest one, Orc 2048, which costs 3000 coins. The other stories are Princess 2048 (6000 coins) and Witch 2048 (10,000 coins). The game hints at another story that’s coming soon.
If you play the game for an hour every day, it would take you about 2 months to collect enough coins to buy all 3 stories. That’s how long we reckon it would take, based on how we’ve played the game so far.
Encouraging you to keep playing on is a checklist of Achievements. You get recognition for certain things you accomplish, such as reaching a certain high score or attaining a certain character rank.
As of writing, only 12 achievements are listed. Each achievement rewards Android players with 5,000 XP to add to their Google Play Games account.
Sound and Music
The music used in the game is noteworthy (Pun intended… get it? Music, note, musical notes, noteworthy? Yeah, sorry). We like it. It’s a lively medieval tune that makes you think of castles, taverns, broadswords, jousts, fair maidens, noble kings, and maybe even the knights Templar.
The other stories have their own musical themes that fit the setting. The Orc Story music may not necessarily remind you of orcs, but it definitely gives you a more menacing atmosphere. Luckily, we don’t have to wait until we buy the stories to hear these other tunes, as the theme music can be previewed in the store. (Or preheard. Did we just invent a word here?)
Fun Factor and Replayability
Fans of Threes, 1024, and 2048 may like this newer take on the old favorites. Players may keep returning to the game in their wish to gather enough coins to buy the other themes, but as it takes a bit too long for the coins to accumulate, this may not be enough to keep them coming back.
The achievements are also not exciting enough to warrant any long term interest in the game.
But if there’s anything that may make players want to keep on playing (at least in the short term), it’s the characters themselves. It just gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you see that high-ranked character on your board.
This is a game that we’re kind of torn about. On the one hand, we have some good pixel character graphics and enjoyable music as company, but on the other hand, it’s really just another clone of 2048, a game that has seen its heyday. And once you get to the highest-ranked character, there’s really not much to make you come back for more.
Templar 2048 provides just that sufficient amount of enjoyment for you to play it for a day or two, maybe even a week, but not longer than that (unless you’re one of these guys on the leaderboard!). We give it a 6/10.
Are you as torn about how you feel about this game as we are? Are our calculations on how many characters there should be to reach 2048 correct? Please tell us in the comments below!