- Note: This game is in under development, therefore the information about the game is subject to changes
Sphere Matchers is an upcoming marble-popper action puzzle video game with the same name as the forum, developed by Bobik Platz and published by Electronic Arts under EA Originals label. It is scheduled to release on April 9, 2023 on Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4 and PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch, and it is a tribute to marble popper games like Zuma Deluxe and Luxor: Amun Rising, and a spiritual successor to MumboJumbo's Luxor series.
After the placement of Sphere Matchers flag at the sandy beaches of the Oddworld Island to claim this island back in Luxor Mod 2016, the Ugnius appeared and the Oddworld being overwhelmed by anomalous spheres they created. The player must stop the Ugnius and other spammers from causing more problems on the inhabitants of the Oddworld.
Sphere Matchers follows the concept of marble popper games as the objective is to destroy spheres by making matches with usually three or more same colors (ranging from 3 to 12 different colors), and combines the unique aspect of each other games into one. It introduced a line of sight mechanic where obstacles that causes spheres to be either destroyed before hitting the sphere train or it bounces off walls, and a completely new derailment mechanic in which spheres can be thrown off the sphere train and cause chaos. There are 12 colors available, sorted by the appearance; red, green, blue, yellow, purple, turquoise, orange, white, black, pink, brown, and grey.
Unlike other sphere matching games, Sphere Matchers uses deterministic seeded PRNG, in which the seed is assigned to each level and therefore, replaying the same level will have exact same permutation, both the sphere shooter and the sphere train.
The game's pacing is similar to Luxor Evolved, especially on the higher difficulties.
There is a brief storyline involving moderation and spamming in general; these spheres are represented as spam and the player as the admin, shoots spheres/spam at the train to eliminate them.
There are three categories of modes; the gameplay type dictates how it plays, game modes you're in and the segment type. Which is shown below:
- Gameplay types:
- Shooter: This is a basic type of marble shooter games. As the name suggests, the player shoots out the sphere at the train
- Grabber: The player must grab an existing sphere from the train before shooting them
- Clicker: Click the sphere to destroy, as long as the number of repeats is equals to or more than minimum collapse count
- Swapper: Swap the sphere to change the permutation and make matches to destroy
- Game modes:
- Classic: Basic game mode for marble-popper games. The player must either destroy the number of pushers or fill the progress bar, AND destroy all remaining spheres to win the game. Some levels have specific requirements to complete like "create X powerups/powerdowns", "destroy X of special spheres" and etc.
- Strategy: Sphere pushers don't move unless the player shot at the sphere train, thus eliminating time pressure and encourages strategic thinking
- Relapse: Sphere trains coming out of both ends and the player must prevent the collision between these two Ender Pearls
- Puzzle: The player have few spheres and are predetermined, spheres don't move and the objective is usually destroy all spheres on the board
- Onslaught: The path kept changing due to destructible obstacles spawning blocks the path
- Cross the Bridge: The objective to destroy all spheres usually on the top of the screen. There are spheres in the river that acts as obstacles and in some levels, static obstacles can also appear
- Boss: The objective is kill the boss, which is usually blocked by sphere train
- Segment types:
- Segmented: Sphere trains are segmented into different pushers with length
- Continuous: Sphere trains are contiguous, the pusher is revealed once the progress bar is filled
Sphere Matchers borrows the advanced challenges from Bloons TD 6 called Challenge Mode, which is a special mode which some restrictions are take place as a challenge. Like in BTD6, Sphere Matchers' Challenge Mode has a dedicated level editor, in which players can create challenges and share with anyone.
All modes are available in Challenge Mode and there are few exclusive game modes and maps.
Much like in Luxor 2, Luxor 3 and Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife, Sphere Matchers features a Survival Mode, which players have to survive for the longest run without spheres gets into the exit. Unlike in Luxor series, the Survival Mode features a rounds system borrowed from Bloons TD series.
There's a one powerup exclusive to this mode is ~Endgame, which is neutral powerup that ends the game as if the spheres breached the exit and gets the Last Hurrah bonus on destroying all special spheres on the path, and it appears once the Level 100 is passed.
- Main article: Sphere (Sphere Matchers)
Special spheres are spheres that has unusual properties, such as wild balls that make matches to literally anything. It can be either colored like bomb spheres or uncolored like glass spheres. Some spheres can help like wild balls and multicolored balls while others acts like an obstacle like "ephemeral", multilayered and chained spheres.
There are four category of sphere types; the regular sphere behaves like as other SM games and it has colors, the colored special spheres can make a match like regular ones, but it has special properties, the uncolored special spheres that are normally unmatchable, but it can be easily destroyed by usually adjacent matches, and finally, power-up spheres that came out of the shooter and are normally not in the path.
- Main article: Powerups (Sphere Matchers)
Powerups are items that can affect gameplay when collected, it can have positive, neutral or negative effects. However, these three categories are distinguished by symbols prepended and the color; a plus "+" sign and blue/green color indicates good powerups, a minus "-" sign and red color indicates bad powerups or powerdowns, and a tilde "~" sign and gray/yellow color indicates neutral powerups.
Powerups and powerdowns can be sidegraded, making it easier on some situations and more difficult in others.
- Main article: Enchantments (Sphere Matchers)
Enchantments are perks that alter the sphere train, the shooter and the powerups. It changes the difficulty, making it difficult on some cases while others making it easier on other cases.
- Sphere Matchers use the same path system as Bloons TD 6, due to the game is being 2.5D and runs in Unreal Engine 5.
- Nintendo Switch version of the game heavily utilizes touch controls, but it still optional.
- This game has a lot of references similar to The Henry Stickmin Collection.
- Given the fact that game uses path system for sphere trains, some levels have paths from Bloons TD series.