Welcome To Chrome Valley
A match-3 puzzle game with a relatable cast of characters and heartfelt story? Sign me up! Chrome Valley Customs from Space Ape is more than just a car fixing game. You learn about the people working on the cars and their owners, making you care about them. It becomes obvious that they’ve worked together for a long time and have a made a little family with each other. Plus, taking cars apart and putting them back together is very satisfying. While the story and car customization make the game fun, the match-3 aspect often causes things to stutter to a halt.
Metal & Paint
The garage is in a tight spot financially after being robbed by Greasy Joe. I’m not sure if he’ll ever be seen, but his effects are definitely felt. As the newest member of Chrome Valley Customs, you learn on the job and fast. Thankfully, the elderly owner of the garage, Uncle Hank, provides helpful guidance. Playing some match-3 earns both coins and gems, both of which help you work on the cars. From taking them apart to replacing parts to painting, everything requires a specific number of coins. You have to play a bit before earning enough sometimes. As for gems, you spend them to keep playing levels if you run out of moves. It’s a good idea to try and save them as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll run out or not have enough fairly quickly. No matter what car you work on, the process is always the same.
Gabi, the dealmaker, finds clients for the garage, along with any extra parts and decals not on hand. Vehicles from the 80s and earlier come in broken, with their owners saying they want them restored. Car brands include a Colt V8, Massley A-52 and Carlton Sun-Ritz. Take off all the rusty and unusable parts with Big Rig, the mechanic, and replace them with new ones. Then, fix and replace the engine with engine specialist Donna, and the car’s ready for paint expert Angelo. You get three different options for all replacements. Options include a replica from the original car, a piece from the general time period, and something more modern. Paint colors have more diversity, with the whole Roy G. Biv spectrum available. You can either follow the customers wishes or make your own choices. Though it’s fun seeing the fruits of your labor, getting there often takes a while.
A constant problem I’ve run into with Chrome Valley Customs is barely making it past different levels. The game doesn’t discriminate; regular or hard, a lot of levels take several tries to complete. I often ran out of my five lives and had to wait for them to fill back up. It’s always tempting to spend gems to keep a turn going, but if you don’t have enough? That’s where the in-app purchases come in. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game, I just wish every other level wasn’t so difficult. Besides that, Chrome Valley Customs is a lovely puzzle game with an interesting story. The characters are three-dimensional and putting cars together isn’t a chore. If the game was more balanced in the match-3 area, it would be more fun to play. Hopefully the developers can work on that sooner rather than later.
Is It Hardcore?
While entertaining overall, the unbalanced match-3 gameplay makes it hard to stick with for long.