It’s hard to write about a broughlike without getting into the weeds of what defines a broughlike, but basically: they’re a modern offshoot of roguelikes, with mechanics that make you think hard about your position on a small board. This one is particularly great.
This is one of those games where, really, it’s easier to just jump in and play – but let me summarise the rules:
- The game has two 5×5 grids – a combat grid above, and a match-3 grid below.
- You move your green hero tile around the combat board.
- If you bump into an enemy, they’re removed from the combat board, and then placed down in the match 3 game.
- If they bump into you, however – now, this is the really clever bit – it places a little broken heart tile in the match 3 grid.
- Your goal is to score as much as possible in the match 3 game by carefully placing enemies on the match 3 board, within the constraints of your limited movement in the combat grid.
- You lose if you place things in the wrong place, and overflow the board.
- There are some powerups later as you progress to make things more interesting, but – that’s the entire game!
It’s a real accomplishment, to figure out an elegant ruleset like this. As a designer, once you’ve got that, it’s almost like the rest of the game makes itself – it’s constantly generating fascinating little tactical puzzles to think through and plan around as you play. This is fantastic.