Pike Club 2
You know, you hear a lot about companies with shady loan practices, but generally those don't include kidnapping you if you can't pay, putting a paper bag over your head, and threatening to kill you unless you can best them in a memory matching puzzle game like Shade Memory's Pike Club 2. I mean, unless there's some dark secret to Amscot I haven't heard about. In order to repay your debt to the club, you'll need to participate in a series of levels against its members where you try to match cards in pairs to clear the board. Just click on cards to turn them, but be careful, since certain card colours will cause you to lose a life point, and if those run out, it's game over. Likewise, if the clock reaches zero, it'll give you another ten seconds, but at the expense of a life point. Though things start off simply enough, soon you'll have to worry about cards with different effects (both negative and positive), and you'll unlock a whole host of various "Talent Cards" with special abilities you can use to build a deck that helps you as you play.
The original Pike Club was a surprisingly clever twist on a simple genre, but also far too simple to really succeed beyond its novelty. It's something you see happen a lot as developers continually experiment, but what's impressive here is how hard Shade Memory has clearly worked to flesh out the game beyond a simple concept. One of the biggest things Pike Club 2 has going for it is simply its unique style, with surreal visuals and momentous music coming forward to create a unique atmosphere. The downside is it might still be a bit too simple for some players, and the element of a ticking clock means it isn't really the sort of game that's suited for relaxing with. Which is a shame, because with the strategy involved in making the beneficial cards counterbalance the negative ones and the skills and talents to deploy, it really is a wonderfully creative little game that does a lot to improve on what it used to be.
I liked this more than I thought I would. I also think there should be a "memory" tag attached to this game.
Cool. It's similar enough to the original to be recognizable and different enough to be a new challenge. I'll be coming back to this one!