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Battle Vision Network is a competitive match-three puzzle battler from the makers of Grindstone

Players decide the evolving story by playing matches

A head to head match in Battle Vision Network
Image credit: Capybara

Grid-based puzzler Grindstone was a favourite of Katharine’s, who found it to be her go-to during regularly scheduled moments of “cat-based paralysis”. I didn’t spent quite so many hours of feline enforced stasis with it, but I too was drawn in for a respectable time chunk. It’s those detail-stuffed visuals and caffeinated animations that tipped it for me, and it’s the same art that have me excited for Capybara’s follow-up. Battle Vision Network is an online puzzle battler that pits you head to head against real-life humans (boo those guys). The conceit here is its a televised space sport, in which you’ll steer the fate of its ongoing story arcs by winning or losing as your chosen team.

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Like Grindstone, Battle Vision Network reaches deep inside the match three genre and yanks out all its bones before running off giggling in the opposite direction. Capybara describe it as a spiritual successor (they’re stealing souls now, too!) to Might & Magic: Clash Of Heroes. The aim here was to iterate on that one, specifically the multiplayer. Opponents will take turns thwacking each other using colour-matched formations. This is where I found myself getting interested. You make a vertical match to attack, horizontal to defend. You’ll also unlock new units as you progress, as well as fancy outfits to customise your team.

You’ll choose a team - each with their own visual style, home planet, all that jazz - and then the game tallies up winners at the end of each season. This goes on the affect the overall story, Capybara say. As a journalist, I’d love to see this escalate to the point where real-life fan gangs hit each other with bits of wood and crowbars over results, because that would be fun to write about. Terrible though. Shaming the sport, these hooligans. Battle Vision Network sounds to have a simultaneous launch on PC this time around, so you’ll be able to join in the rabid fan violence I assume is coming soon.

We saw this one at Day Of The Devs. You can keep up with all our picks using this here tag.

The flurry of summer games events are now underway! Hit up our Summer Game Fest 2024 hub and our Day Of The Devs roundup for all the news worth caring about from the shows so far.

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