This Boat Aint Gonna Build Itself

Oh, man, I've got a killer case of carpal all down my forearm. After all, I did spend most of my free nights last week, and most of the weekend's waking hours, building a boat. You know, on my iPad. Playing You Must Build a Boat (also available for Android).

The title means what it says. Once you start playing this game, your mission of building a boat is all-consuming, and you won't be able to stop. In other words, it's terribly addicting, and I shouldn't even be telling you about it. Apologies in advance.

You MUST Build a Boat
You Must Build a Boat is one of these new puzzle/rpg combo type games where you're playing a variation on Bejeweled (or Chuzzle) in order to fight monsters and/or amass resources to achieve an overlying rpg-style objective. In this case, you are gathering resources to build a boat to sail up a river. It's the simplest of concepts, but there's more depth there than you might think, and it's maddeningly difficult to stop playing once you start. This is the "just one more run" school of gaming, because each run is a matter of a few minutes.

You gather resources and new crewmates by the matching game. You only lose when your character gets pushed off the screen, so performance is rewarded by a longer run, giving you more materials and loot. You level up in the sense that you make the different tile types more powerful, so if you hit a skill plateau, you can eventually overcome that by upping stats and items in the same dungeon. It's a very good auto-balancing kind of a system.

Other games like You Must Build a Boat include its predecessor by the same developer, 100000000, and Puzzle & Dragons. There's a new Puzzle & Dragons in town, too, by the way; the combo 3DS game of Puzzle & Dragons Z/Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros.

I'm on a boat!

If you want a free taste of what You Must Build a Boat is like, try the browser-based game, Gridland. Again, apologies in advance for linking you to that. Don't be fooled by Gridland's looks; the night cycle especially has a lot of strategy to it, and it took me a while to figure that out.

As for me, I did finish my boat, and I'm just hoping my arm recover in time for Fallout 4 and No Man's Sky. I should be OK, as long as I don't start playing Gridland again...