Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Million The Game – Unintentionally Perfect

million_iconThe best games are always unintentionally good at something.

Available on Google PlayWorld of Warcraft was, I am pretty certain of it, unintentionally good at destroying social lives of people everywhere. FIFA is unintentionally good at destroying friendships and relationships.

So what is Million unintentionally good at? Soothing. I’ve played a couple of games that tried really hard to be the relaxing ones, always forcing calming music and the “bubbly” effect, but to no avail. Most of them were simply boring.

Mahjong as an inspiration

In that respect, I don’t think Million is any different, as I don’t feel it was the developer’s intention to make that perfect bedtime game. Let’s get the formalities out of the way:

This is an Android game and the first and only game created by AIGC Games. It is a Mahjong-styled tile game, where the goal is to create a set of tiles in a pre-defined fashion. Instead of paired tiles of various dragons, herbs and whatnot, Million uses glassy, coloured tiles that need to be placed in a particular order. If you think simply placing them wouldn’t be interesting or addicting enough, you’re dead wrong, as this game will easily have you hooked for hours.

Million the Game screenshotHere are my three reasons why Million is the best relaxing game out there:

  • It’s slow as hell

The game has no countdown timer and forces you into nothing. It just gives you the set and lets you play with it as long as you like. You can rotate the board around to get a better look from different angles, reset the entire board if you’ve completely messed up, and just shuffle the tiles around as long as you want. It makes for a really enjoyable experience.

  • The sound

The game features a couple of sounds of glassy tiles getting placed on top of each other. A level with 36 fields can feature around 100 tiles, which means you’ll do a lot of moving. After some time, the glassy sound will completely hypnotize you.

  • The background

Blue skies, with fluffy white clouds slowly drifting in the background. It’s completely discrete and doesn’t get in the way, but still creates an amazing atmosphere. I think it’s because of the clouds’ slow movement.

The creative force

In terms of gameplay, there’s really not much more to say about Million. The game has four stages, each having 30 levels to complete. That means a lot (and I really mean – A LOT) of game hours. New stages get released with patches, meaning you’ll get more levels as you progress.

The interesting thing is that the developers didn’t stop there, they wanted to create something different, so they decided it would be interesting to create Million the Movie.

Using a feature which allows you to record the gameplay, players are encouraged to send videos of their playing back to the developers, where they will eventually create the movie. I can’t stress how important this is – this is probably the single most creative thing I’ve seen in a mobile game in a while. Maybe Million, with its slow gameplay and the lack of characters is not the perfect game to create a movie on, but just the idea is worth mentioning – just imagine the viral (and the advertising) power a good movie, featuring hundreds of players worldwide can have!

Earning the keep

Million the Game ScreenshotIn terms of monetisation, the game earns enough to get by. It has an ad bar in the bottom, where various ads scroll. Sometimes a pop-up ad shows up covering most of the screen, but none of these things interfere with gameplay much, as they’re carefully placed not to be too annoying.

Million also has the option to remove ads for $2.99, and a shop where you can buy points to unlock levels. Still, you have to complete them nonetheless.

All things considered, I was impressed with what Million has to offer. It is a very simple, very entertaining and addictive game which uses everything a mobile device has to offer to create a great gaming experience.

It tops things off with probably the most innovative thing I’ve seen in a while – the Movie and honestly, I can’t wait to see it.

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