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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Seriously: Best Fiends released today

Seriously Games has just dropped Best Fiends, the first game to come out of the new Helsinki studio with their eye on building the next generation of mobile-first entertainment.

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Two days ago I got my hands on the beta build and have been playing it enough for my girlfriend to roll her eyes about it. I found it a pretty charming remake of Candy Crush Saga, or at least that’s my impression, I’ve avoided Candy Crush Saga due to the ridiculous name and flashy colors but nothing seems too original about the gameplay. You drag your finger across blocks, giving your characters enough power to attack the evil slugs.

The lack of originality is disappointing, but the game is well executed. In Best Fiends you start collecting a rag-tag assortment of lovable pupae that you want to power up and metamophise into their larval and adult form (The game isn’t that biologically sound, but I don’t know how else to put it). “Character Driven” seems to be the key word for 2014’s mobile games out of Helsinki, and they’ve done a pretty good job giving you some attachment. At one point yesterday I unlocked a new red bug giving me the dilemma of which one to level up. Before juicing the new guy, part of me was thinking “aw man, but me and that guy have been bros from the start together,” which is a fairly ridiculous thought to have about cartoon bugs that just sit at the top of your screen in a Candy Crush Saga remake, but it points to the right hooks to get users approving those in-app-payments.

The gameplay seems nicely leveled for a beginner to the genre like me, giving some easy wins before realizing that dragging your finger across a bunch of leaf or water blocks enough times doesn’t make you win. And the reward system has good hooks in it as well – during the level you win keys, which can be used to unlock a three-by-three gird of doors at the end. After a few bad prizes, you start wondering what’s under the next door (which gets you to spend your diamonds).

The whole package around seriously points to the €3.7 Million they’ve raised by Sunstone and Upfront Ventures. The movement through the levels is nicely polished, the animations are punchy, and the music shows all its richness with headphones plugged in.

While I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some originality when it comes to gameplay, it’s important to look at Best Fiends as the first piece of the puzzle – Seriously has two more titles in this adventure planned, said to be released in 2015. And as an entertainment company, they’ve got their assets everywhere with the game music to be launched on iTunes and their own Youtube channel showing some behind-the-scenes.

With Rovio laying off workers, does Seriously have what it takes to build a massive mobile-first-entertainment powerhouse? We want to know your thoughts, let us know in the comments.

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