Azkend HD Review (iPad)

Game Review: Azkend HD
Updated: November 18, 2010
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
MSRP: $4.99
Version: 1.10
Size: 28.5 MB

Azkend HD is a resurrection of the match-3 puzzle genre. As you trek across Asia, you must solve puzzles and unlock the power of the talismans to help you progress. Your visions will keep you on the path toward your final destination.

The gameplay of Azkend should be familiar to most gamers, but how it is accomplished makes this adventure different. Touch your finger to the symbol you want to start at and drag across tiles containing the same symbol. You must drag your finger across a minimum of 3 identical tiles to turn the tiles blue. Once all the tiles are blue, a talisman piece appears on the board. Destroy the tiles underneath the talisman to capture the piece and get one step closer to assembling a full talisman.

The Talisman of Stars summons meteors to aid you.

As you journey across the map, you will unlock various talismans and their abilities. To activate the power of the talisman, match a minimum of 4 talisman tiles together. As you unlock the talismans, you can choose which one you want to activate for the next level. Some powers are clearly superior to others and that will be evident halfway through the story. My favorite is actually the first one you unlock, the “Talisman of Power.” Match 4 of these together to blow up all the tiles in the immediate area!

The story is presented in snippets every few levels.

Another nice feature of gameplay is the lightning strike. Each time you make a match involving an unchanged tile, you will build up a charge. Once five charges are built up, five lightning bolts rain down on the board. In a stroke of genius by the developers, the lightning only targets unchanged tiles. You may also trigger a lightning strike by matching 7 tiles together. This is a great way to get the last tiles on the board.

A lightning strike in action

Survival mode presents an incredible challenge for experienced players. Once you have unlocked a talisman, you must use its power to survive as long as possible. Every level you clear earns a star and beats back the constantly ticking clock. I have made it to 50% completion before succumbing to the time limit.

The Talisman of Power, aka bombs away!

Azkend HD is a shining example of an iPad game: Easy to pick up and play, but entertaining enough to lose an afternoon in. The story is insignificant and less than engaging, but the focus is clearly on the match-3 gameplay. This is a good buy at $4.99 and will always offer a welcome distraction at the very least. At the very least, I would recommend you play the Lite version to test the waters.


  • Great graphics and art
  • Two modes—Adventure and Survival
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Has a Lite version

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