Since there’s always room for one more match-three game in one’s life, PlayQ Inc has launched Charm King on Facebook. The game asks players to clear symbols (charms) like clouds, butterflies and feathers from the board by swapping the location of two symbols to create lines of three or more matching items, horizontally or vertically. Each level of Charm King has a different board layout and overall requirement for completion, with many of the genre’s expected features, like stars and move limits, being present throughout.
In each level of Charm King, players must complete a different requirement without running out of moves. One level may ask players to collect a large number of specific kinds of charms, while another asks users to light torches on the game board by making matches next to them. Another level may add dirt to the board to complicate things, but this can be removed by making matches next to the dirt. Still another level type sees users collecting bubbles by making matches with the charms locked within them, and so on.
Creating matches with four symbols sends a shockwave across the row or column that contained the match (depending on the match’s horizontal or vertical orientation), enchanting any remaining necessary charms in its path. These enchanted symbols are worth twice the number of points when collected. A similar effect is triggered when making a match in the shape of an L or a T, but these matches send the enchantment onto all necessary symbols in a single row and column at the same time. Finally, creating a match of five symbols sends the enchantment across three full rows or columns on the board.As gamers progress through each level, they fill the Charm Star bar at the top of the screen. The larger the matches they create, the more this bar is filled in a single move. Once it’s filled, the Charm Star enchants random symbols all across the board, the bar empties, and is ready to be filled again.
Players are given so many options for enchanting symbols because doing so can actually lead to their collection. That is, if two enchantment waves hit the same charm, it’s automatically collected, even if it hasn’t been used in a match.
Players earn up to three stars on each level, relative to the number of points they earn while playing. Gamers can compare their scores with those of their friends on level-specific leaderboards. Additional social play allows users to send lives to their friends. These lives are spent as players fail to complete stages before running out of moves. Lives also recharge automatically over time.
Charm King is available to play for free on Facebook. The game is also available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and the Amazon App Store. The game is monetized via the purchase of lives, or additional move packs that may prevent one from failing a level.