You've just moved to a unique town that's got one thing on its mind... card games! In this engaging blend of strategic collectible card battling and quirky adventuring, the great Card King is finally accepting battles, but you'll need to find eight legendary cards to even get a chance at him... and build a deck of 180 different cards in the process!
Who you gonna call? No, those guys are probably retired, and when your ghost problem is more of the match-3 variety, you need a specialist. This simple yet addictively charming little game takes you across 45 levels of arcade action as you deal with ghosts of all types that bounce and roll around the screen to make connections... just keep an eye on your timer!
What is it with gems and their desire to align in groups of three or more? In Aaron Steed's Drop Swap, you walk around the grid of gems, swapping places with every gem you encounter. Lining up three in a row clears them from the grid, but you've only got so many moves to make the necessary connections. Even though there's only five levels in this Puzzlescript-constructed game, there's plenty of replayability in the challenges provided.
The makers of Candy Crush Saga serve up another dangerously addictive free match-3 arcade game for iOS and Android with a farming theme and power-ups galore. Though gorgeous, charming, and casually fun, the same old microtransaction and timer problems will hobble the experience for some.
Small is Beautiful makes a comeback of their cutesy graphics with the match-3 strategy title, Animals - Home Free! Save a long line of captures creatures against an evil, entrepreneurial wolf as he slowly destroys the forest for his construction efforts. It'll take some thoughtful strategy, all under the watchful eye of the clock to take him down and restore the peace. You can't let the environment down!
It's not the Doctor Who game you may have been hoping for, but this free match-3 RPG for iOS and Android offers a ton of unlockable characters and battles with enemies from the show. With gorgeous artwork, simple and addictive gameplay, and a lack of the usual free-to-play frustrations, Doctor Who: Legacy is still enjoyable if not quite what you'd expect.
The creators of Puzzle Quest bring us this match-3, turn-based RPG spin on the Marvel universe, and despite some frustrating free-to-play aspects and a slow start, Dark Reign offers surprisingly funny writing, and more challenging, strategic gameplay than you might first expect.
Ooga-booga? No, the Neanderthals of BonusXP's mobile match-3/strategy hybrid have a bit more than that stereotype going for them in Cavemania. Like hunting and gathering, and wrangling prehistoric beasts... Okay, maybe not. But the fun graphics and clever level design will certainly have you scratching your head and grunting. No, this game's not so easy a caveman... well, you know.
Kitty Island was a haven for cats, until the Aquarium Alliance stole its catnip supply. Match tiles to organize the kitties' effort to take back their precious catnip in Combat Cats, whose quirky sense of humor and adorable artwork are second only to the engaging gameplay and balanced challenge. Where else can you play as Grumpy Cat flying a cardboard plane?
Sometimes you want emotional depth and gameplay complexity, and sometimes you just want to be dazzled by high scores and flashy effects as you swap and match candies across a bizarre landscape while it's all being narrated by the world's most unsettling announcer. And if that's the itch you've got, Candy Crush Saga, it turns out, will oblige.
The match-3, defense hybrid game, Tales of Terratos, puts the powers of the elements into your hands. Through 25 levels of fun, back-and-forth action, you'll be creating matches to cast spells and summon elementals of fire, water, air and earth. Claim your victory through destroying the enemy's barriers while protecting your own. It will occupy your brain, eyes and hands as you banish the evil creatures back through the portal from which they came!
If you've played the iOS hit 1000000, you'll find a lot to like in Undefined's addictive match-3 arcade game that puts a JRPG spin on it. To rescue a princess you'll have to raise funds by scrounging in dungeons, swapping and matching gems and other tokens to find treasure, defeat monsters, and level up your party for a familiar but addictive and charming experience.
Sparkle 2 has just arrived from 10tons, the team behind the mobile physics puzzle games Tennis in the Face and King Oddball. And you know what? It looks gorgeous. It plays gorgeous, too, if you can pretend that's a thing that makes sense. Smooth marble popping puzzle action combined with a soothing soundtrack and drop-dead stunning visuals. It's everything you could want in a simple casual matching game.
Scurvy Scallywags is a hybrid match-3 puzzle game created by Beep Games, that studio where that guy Ron Gilbert works, not to mention his DeathSpank collaborator Clayton Kauzlaric. Scurvy Scallywags dresses you in your piratey best and sends you to the sea on a quest to discover the ultimate sea shanty (a.k.a. "song"). Along the way you'll defeat all sorts of foes, swap and match piles of gold, attach swords, coconuts and rats, spend your pirate booty on ability upgrades, and witness one of the most awkward pirate dramas ever performed.
Manipulate cells and bacteria to your liking in this shiny match-3 game. As you play scientist, get three of the same cells adjacent to each other to form a higher grade cell. Trap pesky bacteria to stop their roaming, and complete level goals to move on. Don't forget to try the shop if you get stuck!
Alien Hive, a game by Appxplore is a blend of match 3, sliding block puzzles, and resource management with some alien breeding mixed in. It's all a bit reminiscent of Triple Town, where you shuffle items around to fill in gaps and help tiles evolve to be all that they can possibly be.
Rise of the Blobs is a colorful, creative, and fruity puzzle matching game from Robot Invader, the studio behind Wind-up Knight. In a world where marshmallows talk and pieces of fruit are weapons, you have the honor of saving the corn syrupy folk in an endless arcade game that isn't afraid to crank up the speed. In a welcome change from the norm, you must manage a three dimensional puzzle board that rotates at the touch of your finger, meaning you won't always be able to see what those pesky blobs are up to!
The pixel is mightier than the sword, if only because a sword can only be used for stabbin' and the pixels in Social Titans' addictive iOS match-3 defense game can be used to summon vampires. Create matches on a battlefield to summon and merge new warriors and classes in order to protect your VIP, who is SUCH a VIP that they can afford to wander around said battlefield without actually lifting a finger to do anything useful. Sigh.
Zap away colorful jewels to save the townsfolk in Jewelanche 2. In this beautiful match-3 game, draw lines to connect gems of the same shape and color to remove them from the board. Fight evil bosses and collect gold on your way. Beware obstacles, and spend your cash on the power-ups best suited for the level. Once again use your magic to save the day!
The ski trip of your dreams to the Alps turns into a freezing nightmare when an avalanche strands you cold and lonely, far from civilization and help. A remote ski resort seems like your best chance for rescue, but it quickly becomes clear that there's something strange about the residents, and they might not have your best interests at heart. ERS Game Studio takes the reins for this spiritual sequel to the original hidden-object adventure.
Alas, magic poker chips do not exist in real life. But how cool would it be if you could take a handful of poker chips, stack them together, and they instantly become a single, larger poker chip? And what if you also had a deck of magic cards that could change those chips at will? MAGIC. Well, for all your card-and-chip whims, we recommend Chip Chain, a classy match-3-like puzzle where racking up runs of chips can lead to big points.
Sticky Linky is an arcade physics puzzler from Sergey Batishev's Gluey Games! You'll match colors! You'll build wobbly structures! You'll see them crash to the ground after an unfortunate move! No other game is gonna do that! A somewhat generic presentation masks enjoyable gameplay of a surprising depth, which may eat up a half hour of your time without you even realizing it.
In this captivating and addicting match-3/RPG fantasy hybrid for iOS and Android, you time as a new student at a school for witches and wizards should be filled with studies. Unfortunately for you, you've been partnered with the brash and bossy Alicia, and her short attention span and hunger for power means you and your new friends might stir up some trouble in your cauldrons. A simplified version of Puzzle Quest with stunning visual designs and easy to master gameplay you may find hard to put down.
Do you like simple puzzles? As in... do you like them a whole lot? A hundred levels' worth? Then Blocks is the perfect straight-forward little match-3 puzzler for your coffee break. Slide and match coloured blocks to remove them from the screen in as few moves as possible. Simple, but cleanly designed and surprisingly addictive, Blocks is perfect for relaxing, thoughtful puzzle fun.
Combining hypnotic, addictive match-3 styled Tetris gameplay, Iluvas Games' latest is a beautiful though somewhat cluttered hybrid. When a mysterious being contacts you begging for help remembering who and what she is, it comes down to you to help her unlock her memories... by swapping adorable little critters around so they explode in combos!... hey, don't question it, just enjoy it.
Your iOS becomes a gateway to arcade addiction in this oh-so-simple but endlessly enjoyable little dungeon-crawling hybrid. Swap tiles to gain treasure, supplies, and battle monsters as you try to keep running for as long as you can, hoping to amass a score large enough that our hero can escape the dirty castle he wakes up in. But with upgrades, achievements, endless enemies and more, why would you ever want to go?
Overhaul is a slick new hybrid from Ed 'Ryzed' Ryzhov and Konstantin Groshkov that mixes up match-3 and tower defense to serve up a turbocharged experience to blast away your workaday blues. The backdrops, animations, and SFX are just right and even the atmospheric soundtrack by THESANDS does its job--giving you something to bounce to between enemy waves, and heightening the tension when the battle is on. Overhaul is firing on all cylinders, as will you long after the game is over.
Bushes and huts, grass and trees, churches and gravestones, and bears. Dangerous, dangerous bears. Triple Town from Spry Fox is the kind of mobile game you'll love to carry around with you at all times, firing it up for a few quick rounds and putting it away when you're satisfied with your progress. It combines city building with a good ole match-3 puzzle game in a manner you're probably not used to seeing, allowing you to work with individual elements to build a great empire, one match at a time.
You'll enjoy 30 levels of gem matching action in Jewelanche. Click and drag your mouse along at least three adjacent gems of the same color to remove them from the board. Buy powerups to help you on your way when the going gets tough.
Azkend 2 stands out in the crowded match-3 genre through its excellent art, music and voice-acting, constantly changing challenges and tricky puzzles requiring custom approaches. Follow the main character on a journey into a maelstrom and back. With 60+ levels in story mode and tons of replay value, it's a lot of bang for the buck.
180 might not offer a lot in the way of innovation, but you'll be hard-pressed to put this casual arcade puzzler for your mobile device down! Match coins in colours to clear space for as long as you can, and tap coins to flip them over and set up big chains. Simple, colourful, and oh so addicting.
Frozen Candy, a holiday match-3 puzzle game from Avox Games, looks a heck of a lot like Puzzle Bobble. In fact, if good ol' dinosaur Bub was on ball-firing duty instead of that Brian Poesehn look-alike of an elf, one could be fooled at a glance for thinking it to be a complete clone. Once you start playing, though, the unique feel of the mechanics allow Frozen Candy to shine as it's own creation, making for something that feels both familiar and innovative.
A remarkable sequel to one of the most engaging match-3 games ever, 4 Elements. Once again the elements are out of whack in the Magic Kingdom and it's up to you to make things right before all life ceases to exist. Prepare for tons of elemental delights!
In this turn-based match-3 battling game, adorable little creatures are locked in combat (in space!) and need you to swap gems, upgrade, and earn rubies to help defeat their opponents. The only mystery is why these cuddly astro-pets feel the need to wail on each other anyway. If snuggly little kittens can't get along with giant squids, is there hope for the rest of us?
In Undefined's latest, you'll use match-3 to duel enemies and earn loot. Loot which you'll need to pay down the debt that your dad saddled you with while he goes gallivanting off. Wizard dads do that. Gallivant, I mean. The only question now is what Undefined will tackle next now that they've crossed off match-3. I humbly suggest full contact rock paper scissors.
Lucid is a simple, colorful, matching-based puzzle game from YeaBoing. It ditches complexity in all its forms in favor of a pure puzzle experience, slowly ratcheting up the difficulty to keep your brain thinking as fast as you can match dreamy-colored tiles.
Here's a novel idea: do something with the match-3 genre that's fun and interesting! Cave Quest from MD Studio combines a number of familiar puzzle concepts with a smattering of hidden object and adventure scenes. It's all laced together with a shoestring storyline that keeps you moving from one area to the next, solving simple inventory puzzles and swapping tiles like nobody's business. It's something fresh and interesting to try out, especially if you've been around the match-3 block a few times!
Tiles! Tiles! My kingdom for a set of appropriately matched takes! IriySoft puts a strange new spin on the defense genre in this match-3 hybrid as you take control of a set of three heroes attempting to fend off hordes of approaching enemies by creating matches on a board that summons reinforcement, heals, or even unleashes special abilities.
When your car veers off the road one night following a bizarre episode, you have no choice but to seek help at the comfortingly named Drowned Dead Hotel despite the frantic warnings of one of the young women living there. It quickly becomes apparent that you're going to need more than a mechanic to get out, and both the crumbling hotel and nearby town hold more than their share of unpleasant little secrets. Codeminion's latest hidden-object adventure allows you to switch to match-3 on the fly if you don't like item searching, and also provides some genuinely creepy atmosphere to make one very engrossing game.
Cradle of Rome 2 takes us back to the origins of the ancient city, telling the (abbreviated) tale of Romulus and Remus and allowing you to build Rome in as many or few days as you please, one match at a time.
A spaceship filled with traveling orbs has crashed on a strange planet. The crates holding its living passengers have been scattered across the world, and as the lone captain, it's your job to find them all. Ballville: The Beginning is a matching puzzle game that emphasizes characters, unlockables, and action over tile swapping, creating an experience rich in variety that will keep you interested level after level just to see what strange new things you'll uncover.
Bejeweled has been around for almost a decade, and its popularity is showing no signs of waning. From the original browser game released in 2001 to the 2009 re-envisioning in Bejeweled Twist, practically every person who's ever touched a computer knows about the series. PopCap invests a lot of effort into the scarce Bejeweled sequels, and as soon as you see what Bejeweled 3 has to offer, you'll appreciate the extra attention that was put in to getting you hooked on gem swapping all over again.
Going back to its roots, the latest game in this match-3 series is all about making you serious about spheres. Luxor: 5th Passage takes a sideways step in the matching genre, introducing some new facets while never forgetting its core gameplay.
Vanilla, jeans, thunderbolts - there have been many variations and 'improvements', but nothing that beats the original. That also goes for many puzzle games and while people are less inclined to meet an old favourite during an adventure game, on their own they hit the sweet spot. That, more or less, summarises my opinion of Bomboozle 2. It might not break new ground or usher in the new era of 'pop the colors' puzzle games, but this take on a classic isn't broken either!
Play Knight or Princess in this third installment of the Knightfall series. Destroy groups of like colored blocks to help our heroes slay monsters, collect keys, and get safely to the exit. Survive long enough and you may find out what happened to your stolen loot, and what's behind this mysterious "Taxman".
MythPeople returns with another gorgeous puzzle game that bends the rules at all the right places. Heroes of Kalevala is a match-3 puzzle game infused with a village building sim. This means you get to swap tiles in MythPeople's traditionally dramatic manner and earn gold to build a city with. As you play, you unlock new buildings for your town and discover new power-ups, creating that "just one more level" feeling we love in our casual games!
Far to the north in an ancient tower a paladin may have gone astray and awoken something dangerous deep beneath the ice. It's up to you to investigate... provided you have the stones for it. The smash-hit rpg/match-3 puzzle hybrid returns with all the addictive adventurous gameplay you remember plus some significant additions. Clear your agenda for the next week and turn off the phone... adventure awaits.
Pizza Chef 2 does what few time management and match-3 puzzle games care to do: try something different. Instead of fusing the former with the latter or the latter with the former, Pizza Chef 2 has made both genres equally reliant upon the other, meaning you can't take the matching out of the time management and vice versa. What you get is a strong casual game of simple strategy, quick thinking, and spatial reasoning combined in a very rare balance.
Turnellio is match-3 the way only Tonypa can do. All of the trademarks are here, from the exotic title and simple but attractive graphics to the infectious background track, all of which surrounds a unique twist on a classic casual gameplay genre. With beat poet like coolness, he offers up his own twists and garnishes them with his penchant for quiet elegance. The result is a game that keeps the heart and inherent fun of match-3 games while experimenting with new and intriguing territory.
If you love match-3 games and are looking for a new challenge, then Geisha: The Secret Garden is definitely for you. With an entirely new strategy to learn and innovative obstacles to overcome, the game manages to make the genre feel entirely new and interesting. With its timed and untimed modes we're talking gameplay that everyone can enjoy. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the sound of one hand clapping, and start meditating now.
Gorgeous to look at, easy on the ears and with a fun new twist to the old match 3 dynamic, Paradise Quest is tons and tons of match 3 fun, with enough side tasks to break up the gameplay and keep it feeling fresh. Entertaining, educational, and fun for the entire family.
Simplz: Zoo combines a match-3 puzzle game with a casual simulation for a new and compelling experience. Now, you may have heard that story before when Floating Kingdoms came along, but this one has a potent blend of the genres that interconnects so thoroughly, everything you do in one directly affects the other. The result is a game that elegantly moves you back and forth while giving you the freedom to customize the experience to your liking.
What's a person to do if they just want some match 3 goodness? Check out The Treasures of Montezuma 2 by Alawar Games. There's a ton of gorgeous gameplay featured here. Complete the initial 40 levels of Adventure mode and unlock lots more to do. Additional difficulty modes and 40 levels of puzzle mode, and even an endless mode, too. There are even trophies for various achievements as well that you can aim to collect.
Bloktonik is an addictive new colored block-matching game with a twist: blocks come into the play area from all 4 sides, and it's up to you to manage where they land. A new twist on an old classic, Bloktonik is a great way to waste an afternoon. Or several, depending on how willing you are to are to avoid the real world.
Tinseltown Dreams: The 50s is a match-3 with a distinctive Hollywood flare. Here in the land of palm trees and oversized sunglasses, you play the part of a producer for a little known movie studio. Use your match-3 skills to collect the cash you'll need to fund a string of blockbusters that will put your studio on the map.
A colorful match-3 game set in the lush rainforests of a distant land, where you'll have to make use of quick matching skill and magical powers in your quest to piece together broken talismans. Bend the elements to your will with enchanted tiles and clever swapping, and see if you can't discover a little Jungle Magic.
Ahoy, matees! I be here to tell you the gruesome tale of The Adventures of Mary Ann: Lucky Pirates! It be— ahem, it is a match 3 game that combines three methods of puzzle gameplay with casino games to create an adventure of near-epic proportions. The game itself takes place along a Caribbean that exists only in tall tales and Disney movies. Your job is to help Mary Ann defeat all enemies and find all treasures until she rules the Pirate world.
Oh no! The famous Willmore Candy Factory is on its last legs! Orders are being delayed, the pipes in the Chocomat are out of alignment, the furnace has broken down, and there are bits of metal getting into the candies. What's a recently graduated college gal to do? Why, save Grandpa's Candy Factory, of course! It's a fantastic puzzle game packed with variety and visuals so gorgeous, you'll want to eat them. Mmm.
The Lost Inca Prophecy, from Seppia Interactive, blends match 3 gameplay with the look and feel of a hidden object/adventure hybrid. You play as Acua, a young Spanish woman living around the time of Columbus. One day a book in your beloved library speaks to you, giving you a prophecy about the doom of the Inca Empire. The next thing you know you are on your way to the New World with your friend Juan de Salcedo — a brave conquistador — as your only companion.
This crazy mash-up of RPG and color-matching puzzle is gorgeous, fun, and addictive. Destroy groups of blocks and rotate the puzzle grid to fight monsters by falling on them from above with your drill lance spinning. Bigger and better than the first Knightfall in every way, with a fleshed-out story, creative boss battles, and more ways to build your character, Knightfall 2 is what a sequel should be.
You'd think that being able to do magic would make things like running a magic shop a snap. Just wave your wand and POOF everything is taken care of. Well, turns out it's not all that easy, if Mystic Emporium is any indication. In fact, it's going it take all of your time-management skills to be a successful magic shop owner and satisfy the mystical people and creatures of the realm.
Sugar-coated, filled with rainbows and sunshine and love, and cheerier than a dentist the day after Halloween, Yousumin! is a new puzzle game from Square-Enix. In the same way Bejeweled Twist put a spin on the matching genre, Yosumin! shifts things around to deliver a new kind of puzzle game that's unique yet familiar at the same time.
New from Myth People, creator of Miriel the Magical Merchant and Azkend, comes another matching-based puzzle game with a new take on an old mechanic: Dragon Portals. The friendly dragons have been bound to earth with dark magic. Young Mila is called in to save them by dropping orbs from one dragon to another, matching groups of like-colored ones to keep the dragons aloft. It's a nice departure from most matching games, and combined with Myth People's signature art direction and epic power-ups, makes a game well worth trying out.
With a solid story and hours of gameplay, Cindy's Travels: Flooded Kingdom is a game that builds upon the basic match-3 mechanic with additional gameplay elements. While character perspective may take a bit to get used to, it certainly doesn't detract from the fun packed into this title. Take up Cindy's mirror, clear the land of refuse, and get back to the business of "happily every after."
Zerosum is an intense variation on match-3 puzzles, with strict policies on winning and losing but vast opportunities for strategy. Easy to learn, hard to master. Make matches by adding adjacent numbers together, but make sure you don't run out of digits to replace them! It's brain candy, once you get into it, like defusing a bomb constructed by an six-year-old arch-villain.
Is your current job getting you down? Does it feel like you need a microscope to look at your paycheck, or like your boss doesn't truly appreciate your creativity, knack for finding hidden objects, and aptitude at matching three or more objects of the same color? Are you at a dead end in your career? Cheer up! An exciting field is open and waiting for you as an Alchemist's Apprentice!
Sea Journey is... well, it's Puzzle Quest with pirates! Built around a tile-swapping Bejeweled-like game, you venture into the great blue ocean in search of treasure, upgrading your vessel along the way. Each match 3 game you play is a fierce battle at sea, complete with cannon salvos and mystical spells conjured by talismans.
The graphic presentation is fairly simple, but this is a deceptively deep Dr. Mario-style puzzler with a unique color-matching mechanic. Whenever you make a match, you leave behind a ball of a new color, and your job is to work your way up to the top of the rainbow scale. This adds a lot more gameplay dimension than you'd expect, and once you get into it, you will be hooked, trying to make that last couple of levels. Definitely give Combine a chance.
4 Elements combines classic puzzle matching gameplay with a hidden object game and just a dash of fairy tale fantasy for good measure. Help restore the power of the elements to protect the land from an evil power.
A mash-up of casual gameplay from the match-3 and RPG genres, Knightfall plays like a cross between Mr. Driller, Same Game and Puzzle Quest. It's a well-balanced and well-executed game with a fun story mode and an unlimited purgatory mode to keep you coming back for more. Achievements add to the addictive quality that Knightfall will bestow upon you.
Unwell Mel is a light-hearted and humorous match-3 puzzle game. In the grid comprised of Mel's organs (some of which are shaped like dogs and birds, which we'll assume is normal), click two adjacent pieces of food to swap them and form a line of three in a row to clear them. Thrown in with the food are medical packs, which can restore your power-ups, and bugs that, in some instances, actually help you clear away disease.
Dreamsdwell Stories is a unique match-3 type puzzle game with some strategy game (as in the village building variety such as Totem Tribe or Westward III) elements that build into the experience. Wrapped in a package of crisp, sometimes beautiful, graphics and catchy theme music, the core of Dreamsdwell will have you enjoying the game for hours.
Boonka is a cute, kid-safe and surprisingly challenging puzzle game with unique gameplay that combines strategy, timing and satisfying explosions. A luscious green paradise has been invaded by Skours, nasty black clouds who cut down trees and turn the whole world grey, chasing away the adorable rainbow-coloured Boonkas and generally being total downers. The sage Bababoonka introduces you to each tree, and gently encourages you through the process of growing them from a stunted stump to a magnificent specimen of hardwood by doing what you do best: making color matches and blasting them skywards!
They call him Mr. Sweets. He makes a living selling delicious candy to children with the help of music and a match-three puzzle game, developed by SKT Products. Make combos with magical expanding candy and fill up the customer's happiness meter! It's hard to bring a new twist to a classic and do it well, but SKT know what they're doing.
Your goal is to build stacks of animals as high as you can. Combine identical animals along with their favorite food and they begin to breed, multiplying their number and pushing your totem even higher. Each animal interacts differently with others, so learning their relationships is key to creating massive stacks of animals.
Bejeweled Twist is PopCap's latest installment in the well-recognized series. Instead of clicking a single tile and then choosing an adjacent space to move it to, Bejeweled Twist turns your cursor into a 2x2 circle that spins its contents one quarter turn clockwise. The result is a new kind of match 3 that's fresh and fun all over again.
Jump Jump Jelly Reactor is a matching puzzle game that isn't afraid to try out new ideas. Instead of flat and boring blocks, tiles or even gems, this game fills your screen with lively jellies that can be combined to form larger characters with brand new properties. Gameplay is a unique combination of strategy and puzzle matching that extends a good variety of tasks your way. It's rare that a matching game really catches my eye, but Jump Jump Jelly Reactor provides such a full experience, it's hard to pass up.
- • Ancient Quest of Saqqarah
- • Puzzle Hero
Sometimes a formula just works, and in the case of the tried-and-true matching setup, we've seen it work time and time again. This edition of Weekend Download highlights a few new games that take the matching to a new level with interesting twists on the old convention.
New from Tonypa comes Floribular, yet another simple yet highly engaging puzzle game. A 6x6 grid of tiles fills the screen, some of which are covered by colored flowers. The goal is to place a flower on the grid to eliminate as many like-colored flowers as possible. The catch is that matches don't have to be made by adjacent tiles, they can be three or more flowers in that row or column. Difficult to describe, but easy to play, Floribular has the uncanny ability to steal your interest and hold on for quite some time.
With DragonStone, dev studio PlayPond bravely mashed a marble-grouping game with a shoot-em-up, spray-painted it with a medieval fantasy theme, and literally turned the whole thing on its head. The result is an exciting and perilously addictive experiment, with the friendly face and high production values of a casual game.
Following the highly-successful footsteps of puzzle-RPG hybrids, Spandex Force combines several match 3-style jewel swapping games with a sim-like spoof of superhero life. Patrol the city surrounding your headquarters searching for thieves and citizens in need. When you engage a bank robber or intervene to save a helpless human, a simple puzzle interface appears as your challenge to complete the task. It's a surprisingly fresh take on a rather tired genre that scores major points for wearing a wacky sense of humor on its sleeve.
Fall in, troops! It seems we've got ourselves another attack on our hands. Menacing spiders are descending from the skies, and it's up to our platoon of cannons to stop them! We've got to divide our forces to gather bullets on one side, and shoot down the spiders on the other side, so you'll need to divide your attention to win the battle!
If you've seen one match three game, you've seen 'em all, right? Azkend aims to change that, but not in the way you might think. Instead of shaking up the gameplay or introducing awkward new features, developer MythPeople spent time polishing the game to a brilliant shine. The end result is typical puzzle gameplay with an absolutely gorgeous visual design and sound package. It goes to prove that a rich presentation can turn an otherwise ordinary game into a real gem.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords blends a match 3 game with an old-school fantasy RPG. As you roam the overworld you complete quests, earn gold, gain experience, buy equipment and upgrade your stats just like any role playing game. But when you encounter an enemy a Bejeweled-like tile swapping game appears. Match gems to cause damage and collect mana to cast spells to help you defeat your enemy. It's a remarkably well-balanced game that's as easy to pick-up and play as it is to continue playing for hours upon hours. And it's one of the most addictive games I've played in a very long time.
From the Gorillaz' website comes Tiles of the Unexpected!, a game which puts a new spin on a familiar genre. Like a cross between SameGame and Mahjong, the challenge is to clear all of the tiles from the board. Click on any set of two or more adjacent, identical tiles to clear them.
Brand new from Game Pure, creator Speed Cluster, Oshidama and Bound Bear, is a small and simple puzzle game titled The Quiet Night. It takes the familiar Puzznic/Flipull sliding blocks formula and wraps it in a stylish media package to create something familiar that's worth playing for the atmosphere alone.
A new stylish title from Game Pure has just been released: Micro Art. The hybrid puzzle combines elements of SameGame and your classic match-3 game with a unique line-drawing mechanism. A pile of puzzle pieces rises on the left side of the screen while matching pieces float freely on the right. Draw a line and collect the floating pieces to make matches and keep the stack from reaching the top of the screen.
Flashxed manages to breathe a little life into the familiar block-matching puzzle theme with a new mechanic: block dragging. You're presented with a set of bricks with colored orbs sparkling inside. Drag blocks left or right one at a time, and if two or more blocks of the same color touch, they smash and crumble away. It's extraordinarily perplexing at times, but that challenge is what makes it so fun.
Welcome to Tonypa's school of game design. Start with a very simple gameplay idea; it doesn't have to be original, but the idea has to be simple enough for anyone to understand immediately. Include a few attractive graphics in a minimalist style of your own design. Add a pleasing and relaxing soundtrack. Toss everything in a box and flip it upside down. Voilà. Brand new game all your own.
A match-3 action puzzle game with zoo animals and a memorable soundtrack. While the moody animals are a nice touch, it is the Quest mode which makes this game enticingly addictive. As the zookeeper, you are set to 10 different tasks by your angry little boss. With clever variations, an emotional lot of animals and an uppity, cigar-smoking boss, Kiteretsu's Zookeeper will keep you busy and entertained.
2007 IGF finalist Bubble Islands is a new falling-object puzzle game from Dot-Invasion, the talented crew behind the previously reviewed Meteor Busters. Flash-based and completely free, Bubble Islands is fun, cute and loaded with enough content to rival similar commercial games.
Farm Hustle takes the simple formula from games like Bejeweled and adds an interesting twist. In order to get the animals back into their rooms, you must swap them to make rows or columns of three or more. The catch is that you must also use every square on the grid, adding a new level of strategy to your game.
Hit the dance floor in this foot-stomping, original new take on the connect-three puzzle genre of casual gameplay. In Disco Jungle, play as a funky blue elephant with a special ability to absorb the color of any dance floor tile and then drop it anyplace else. Use it to match three (3) or more same-color tiles, horizontally and/or vertically, to score points and clear levels.
Combo! and Blockdown are two great flash puzzle games by Anders Pousette. They're remarkably simple and build upon classic puzzle gaming themes while throwing a few fresh ideas into the mix. Each comes with a public high score board to give you a chance at your 15 minutes of fame. You'll have to earn it, but with the amount of time you'll spend playing each game, odds are you won't really mind.
JP of Pepere.org recently released a new version of his Ringmania game, creatively called Ringmania 2. In this latest update to the connect-three game based on magnetism, control is now with the mouse allowing more freedom of movement as you try to eliminate all of the colored rings from each level's initial configuration.
Bola is a casual and enjoyable puzzle game created by the developers at Gamesheep.com, the same folks who brought us Manole and Makos. The goal of the developers who host the site is to eventually populate it with all their own games, and Bola is not a bad step in that direction.
Makos is a game that is somewhat similar to so many other games in the very crowded genre of sliding block puzzle games, and yet it managed to grab my attention with its adorable little forest creatures and addictive gameplay. The graphics and sound effects are all nicely polished and give the game an attractive charm that will likely have you coming back to play often.
Si et JP of Pepere.org sends word of his brand new game, Ringmania. A new take on a Puzzle Bobble clone, the object of the game is to clear the play field of all rings by connecting three (3) or more rings of the same color to make them "explode."
Dr. Strangemitten's Shrunken Heads is a Puzzle Bobble variation (Bust a Move in the U.S.) with a ghoulish Halloween theme, perfect for this time of year. And while the gameplay is unoriginal, the execution of this version is quite enjoyable to play.
From Shockwave Japan, this cute little Flash game requires you to click on adjacent animals to swap places and line up 3 or more of the same. It sounds a little confusing, and with the instructions in Japanese, I was a little confused at first myself. Just ignore the first screen with the cell phone, don't click it—it's an ad. Wait for the ga...