Press return to start the game. Arrow keys + A/S map to the NES dpad and A/B buttons.

This is my entry for the 2018 NESDev competition. It's similar to Wario's Woods (which I've never actually played) and Treasure Stack by Pixelakes (which should be out on Switch and XB1 soon). The basic idea is that you stack atoms into the specified shape to make a critical match and keep the reaction going. If you make matches fast enough you'll get a score multiplier. Download the game to get the NES rom to play in an emulator for a better experience!

The game itself fits into a single 16 KB PRG bank, including the graphics. I ran out of time (and skill?) to make music for it unfortunately, but otherwise I really like how it turned out. While working on Treasure Stack as a contractor, I made an NES demake of the game because I knew it could be done. Critical Match removes their IP, and changes the game's goal enough to feel unique. I did however convince them to enter Treasure Stack into the competition as well if you want to try that too. :D

Rated 3.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
TagsNES (Nintendo Entertainment System), Tetris


critical-match.nes 16 kB

Install instructions

You'll need an NES emulator to play the .nes file. Alternatively, you can get a flash cart to play it on a real NES, but not a lot of people have those. I've had great luck with the Everdrive N8. It's what I used to develop the game.


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Match puzzle with gameplay similar than Wario Woods. it's Ok.