Oafmatch – Review
Follow Genre: puzzle, match-three
Developer: NCR Games
Publisher: Netcore Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Oafmatch – Review

Site Score
Good: Lighthearted, great banter, solid gameplay
Bad: somewhat simple graphics, repetetive
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

A few weeks ago NCR Games released their newest gem (get it??). It’s a turn-based match-three RPG called Oafmatch. It has a 30 characters, a world map, items, potions, skills and whatever else you didn’t expect from a match-three kind of game. Let us take a look if they were able to bring a proper match-three RPG to the masses or if you can just as well go back to Bejeweled.

Oafmatch main


The introduction let us meet the oaf, Knuckles the Brute, “Thick of neck and hairy of hand”. A lumbering oaf from the Oafish Brawnastry. After meeting him, we “meet the mates”. Your first set of companions consists out of Vick the thief and Schwann the priest. The first combat scenario entails getting rid of some pesky saber-tooth mushrooms. Soon after that you will encounter your first ally, an assassin called Steyn the nightblade. The following meeting contains some lovely lighthearted banter which gets you in the jolly mood of the game. All of the characters have their own personality which stand out most during the conversations. There are plenty of these moments throughout the game, indicated by grey buttons.

Soon after your encounter with Steyn, the road leads you to refugee camp. Bandits, pirates and monsters roam the land and plunder the villages. In the refugee camp you’ll be offered two quests. One consistent quest, the arena, and one varying quest which will take you to a certain location to help someone by killing enemies or retrieving an item. In the arena you’ll be able to obtain a high quality item by surviving 20 waves of enemies, which is often a proper challenge because the enemies scale up. The varying quests are quite lackluster, it feels like just another level but with some dialogue at the end.

The process of meeting new ‘mates’, rescuing people, fighting in arenas and killing a bunch of enemies continues in the same pattern. The story does ramp up to a conclusion, but your route to get there is rather consistent. A lighthearted story combined with fun dialogue and a consistently updated storyline makes for a nice setting where you can enjoy the gameplay yet also have an entertainment layer below that.



On the point of graphics there isn’t a lot to say. The game looks cartoony and simple, which can be seen as somewhat dull. Most of the graphics are stationary, similar to online TCG games. The character portraits make a small nudge when you attack and the gems pop onto and off the screen. The GUI is simple yet smart. You have a clear view of your available gems, mana and abilities. Oafmatch has great tooltips, they are non-intrusive yet always there when you need them. Nearly every possible button on the GUI will cause a message to pop-up in the information screen, thanks to the pop-up being in the info screen it’s not a bother because there’s usually a least some info in it. On the map you’ll also see the buttons which are used for selecting levels, these are color coded you’ll know beforehand what kind of fight you’re about to face. Yellow for a casual fight, blue for a storyline conversation and red for a boss (or tough) fight.

The enemies offer proper visual variations, humans and non-humans alike. The medium-sized portraits clearly show which characters you are using and which enemies you have to face. When an enemy uses a skill, which causes a small version of their portrait to pop-up in the field, it’s sadly rather small. It’s not a real issue, but it would be more comfortable and easier to see if they were able to change something about that. Especially with bigger enemies, because they fill up the tiny portrait. Enemies with the same class also use the same portrait, which makes it rather repetitive. Also, whilst moving across the map, there is no walking animation. The character just glides across the map, it would be neat if the character had a simple walking animation.



At first the music was quite enjoyable, it felt kind of like tavern music. It shares similarities with games like Hearthstone, yet sadly it lacks variation. By Christ almighty, you will hear this tune in your head even if you are asleep. Everything you click on (outside of the battles) will give you a consistent ‘swoosh’ sound, it would be nice if there were different sound effects for different buttons. However, the ‘clicky’ noise when hovering over buttons sounds quite nice. It’s confirming, though not annoying.


A RPG combined with the match-three gameplay isn’t the most common concept. Yet NCR Games has managed to create fun gameplay with actual tense and difficult scenarios. Throughout the game you will be mainly performing one task, swap gems to get three of the same in a row. This has to be done tactically in engaging fights against a reasonably sized amount of variation of enemies. You have six different kinds of mana which are represented by the six colored gems (red, blue, yellow, white, green, purple). These colors represent the stats: strength, intelligence, dexterity, wisdom, constitution and charisma. Yes, you can smack people with your charisma. Each class/character uses their own particular set of two kinds of mana. You have three members in your party, but you’re able to choose out of thirty characters. You can even swap the oaf, even though it’s kind of the main character. When attacking the enemy, the amount of damage done depends on which gems you decide to match up. If, for instance you were to swap a red gem, you will do strength damage based on the character which has strength as their attribute. There is also a seventh gem on the field, which is the terrain gem (black). The effect this gem has depends on the terrain you are playing on, yet does not deal damage. Matching up the black gems will give you black mana, collecting ten of these will trigger the area effect. The first terrain effect you will encounter is called pleasant breeze. When this effect is triggered, the user will receive two gems of each mana type. There are multiple other terrains, some heal, some damage.


There are items, which are actually skills. The skills consume the aforementioned mana. You can obtain more than fifty items/skills in the game. The skills vary in use, some are for healing, some for defense, some for offense. You’re able to obtain the items by performing a battle in a certain difficulty or by buying them from certain villager camps. Money can be obtained via the battles, increasing the difficulty will grant you more gold and finishing the battle without dying will give you a ‘perfect finish’, which gives you even more. The gold is also used to level up. The last item set are the potions, these will either buff you by increasing your stats or adding healing properties to your skills.

You can also decide to create an account. In the bottom right there will be a small chat screen which will show you when the community makes an achievement. For example: when someone, somewhere makes a high combo (when matching up one set, automatically trigger the next and the next and the next and the next etc.) you will receive a thirty second damage or cooldown buff.


The great variation of storyline banter, characters, items and enemies elevates Oafmatch way above other match-three games and particularly Bejeweled. Graphics wise the game is simple, yet sometimes a bit too simple, though the GUI and tooltips are great. The 25+ hours of gameplay were pleasantly unexpected, you could even extend that by attempting to finish every fight on the highest difficulty level. Talking about difficulty, this game can honestly be quite difficult. Because of the skills and variation of enemies it requires actual tactical thinking and effort. Oafmatch delivered a optionally difficult, lighthearted and fun game which is enjoyable even if you dislike the normal match-three games.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Oafmatch - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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