Overview – developed by Zoo Corporation and published by Eastasisasoft, Pretty Girls 2048 Strike is the newest game type in the puzzle game series. Engage in battle with monster girls in new sliding puzzle action, dealing increasing amounts of damage by combining numbers. This title is available for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation family of systems, with a link to each version of the game at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Pretty Girls 2048 Strike that was used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own. All images used are provided by Eastasiasoft.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story segment as there is no plot for this release, so I will be going straight into discussing the gameplay of Pretty Girls 2048 Strike.
Gameplay – the core premise of Pretty Girls 2048 Strike is to slide numbers, combining them to make bigger ones and using them to damage the monster girl target. The game is made up of 50 stages, with 5 different monster girls to battle. The girls must be unlocked by clearing all of the stages for the previous girl, increasing in challenge as the player progresses.
The game field is made up of a 5×5 grid, where the player can shift all of the number blocks on screen at once by pressing one of four directions. When pressing a direction, all of the blocks will move, damaging the monster girl if a number is touching the opposite side. If the numbers match as they touch, they will combine increasing that block total up to the maximum value of 2048.
The monster girls will have a health bar that will be depleted when damage is dealt, defeating them when it is reduced to zero. These health bars will increase as the stages progress, reaching higher and higher numbers the further the player gets into the game. There will also be extra monster girls who appear in some stages, needing to be defeated to in order to clear the stage.
But be aware of the position of the different blocks, as it is possible to fail a stage if there are no moves that can be made with the number son the grid. This makes for a very challenging and strategic gameplay experience in the later stages, as there are blocked spaces that appear in some of the later stages. This can make every move critical as the targets get stronger.
When starting a stage from the main menu, the player can also select a character to use for the stages. Each of the four heroes have their own special skill that can be used during stages, including combining blocks and dealing the highest number on the field as direct damage to the enemy. But the player isn’t the only one with special powers, as the monster girls have abilities they can use too.
Outside of the main stages, the player can take on a special endless mode, where the objective is to deal as much damage as possible on one of three grid sizes. However, this is no easy feat as the game will be over if the grid is filled and the player is unable to combine numbers. The three grids available to play are 3×3, 4×4 and 5×5, offering a different level of difficulty with each grid size.
The last thing to discuss is the dressing room and unlockable costumes. By clearing the stages in game, the player will earn special points that can be used in the dressing room shop. These points can be used to unlock new costumes for both the heroes and monster girls, which can be used to create diorama images. The costumes for the heroes can also be used in the main game mode.
Now with the gameplay covered, it is time to discuss the other aspects of this release, starting with the controls.
Controls – the controls system for this title is incredibly simple, using only the four basic directions to shift blocks and navigate menus. The face buttons can also be used in the stages to activate abilities, as well as moving through menus and the diorama mode. There is also touch screen support for this title, which can make it more comfortable and casual for players who play the game handheld.
Difficulty – there is a moderate difficulty curve to this release, with the stages getting tougher over time. This is due to the increased health that the target monster girls will have, alongside their special abilities and the changes to the game grid. It is possible to fail in the main game stages, but as long as the player takes their time and thinks ahead, they should have an easy enough time with this.
Presentation – the visuals for this release have a pleasing look to them, with the anime style designs of the well-endowed heroes and monster girls that appear on screen. This works well with the rather simple design of the game field and blocks on the grid. The sound in this title is pleasing to the ear, with a variety of music tracks in the stages which are accompanied by Japanese voice over for all the girls.
Final Thoughts – I have played many of the Pretty Girls games and this is a fairly unique entry with a new set of gameplay mechanics. I quite enjoyed the simple and easy to pick up sliding puzzle gameplay, which is new for the Pretty Girls franchise. I have no issue recommending this title to fans of both puzzle games and the series overall. The only thing missing is online leaderboards for the main and endless modes.
In the end, I give Pretty Girls 2048 Strike a final score of 4.5/5. This is a solid puzzle title that introduces a new gameplay mechanic to the Pretty Girls series, offering a fun challenge for all players at a price that is easy on the wallet. If you want to check this title out for yourself, a link to each version of the game is below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)
Link to PlayStation version (HERE)