Sunday, November 25, 2018

My Hunt for Match-3 Dungeon Games Part 3 -- The deeper dive

Ok, all the standard searches have been expended, and now I'm going DEEP into the bowels of the Google Play store (and beyond) to see what I can dig up that's a match-3 and also in some way related to a dungeon. It's been a fun journey that's unveiled a lot of "match-3" and not a lot of "dungeon," but in my never-ending quest . . . I have MORE to share. MORE! MUHAHAHAHA!

War of Heroes
Not to be confused with the now defunct MMO Marvel War of Heroes . . . this is War of Heroes the "Match 3 Puzzle RPG - War of Hero - Dungeon Battle" with 5,000 downloads. Yup, it was the "Dungeon Battle" part of the title that click-baited me into downloading this game. Unfortunately I've yet to run into anything resembling a Dungeon Battle . . . I think it may happen around level 30 or so? Getting there looks to be hard to do for the common Tom like me.

So the basic gist of the game is that you make matches to strike out at your enemy, and you're not really going to damage your opponent much unless you make 4-in-a-row or 5-in-a row matches or a cascade of "combo" matches. Speaking of enemies, you face the exact same enemy model for 10 encounters in a row until you reach that 11th encounter when you get to fight this blue-looking guy.

The difference here is that the combat is turned based between the "boss's turn" as it says and "your's turn" -- quote unquote. This game really needs the loving touch of a copy editor.

The only thing that makes me want to keep going is the leaderboard . . . I really want to rise above rank 0 and get in that Top 50! Why? Just imagine the clout I could throw around by saying, "I'm a Top 50 Player in the game Match 3 Puzzle RPG - War of Hero - Dungeon Battle." Good news is that I'm Level 8 and the lowest level 50 player is Level 9. I GOT THIS!

Unfortunately . . . the dungeon battle part of the game seems to be non-existent and there are strange grammar errors all over this thing.  It feels like it just exists to spit out Legendary Game of Heroes ads. In fact, if you watch 20 ads in a row, you can unlock Hercules as a playable hero. Too bad I can't actually take him into a dungeon, which is what I really want to do.

Dragon Strike Puzzle RPG
Honestly I don't know how this particular game got on my radar as a potential Dungeon Match-3 game. It's not, it's an Empires and Puzzles clone game with a more cartoony art style, which is great . . . don't get me wrong.

I haven't yet talked about Empires and Puzzles, and that's because it's not really a Dungeon Match-3.  An RPG-based Match-3 with guilds, evolvers, and a builder aspect, yes, a "Dungeon Match-3," no.

And that's why I'm going to stop the discussion of this game here and . . . uninstall. Doesn't mean it's a bad game (probably just the opposite), just not what I'm looking for.

Match 3 Dungeon
HOLY WOW . . . a game named exactly what I'm looking for?!  I sense a great lack of naming imagination and with an astounding 5+ installs . . . you read that right . . . this game has only been installed five plus times . . . could this be some strange diamond in the rough??

Well, I played it!  And, I'm now Number one on the leaderboards for this game. WOOT!

Basically, the board is made up of five colors and you make simple matches. Because the board is simple, you can get some pretty insane chain reactions. Unfortunately there is no real depth here.  It's basically the Flappy Bird of match-3 dungeon games. How long can you survive the onslaught of monotonous match 3?! Your fingers and eyes are so busy clicking around that you don't even notice the high-fantasy 2D art striking out in fury at you, but LOOK . . . YOU'RE IN A DUNGEON!

Eventually you just get to a point where you can't take it anymore, or reach a level where they start to do more damage to you than you can keep up with healing and BAM . . . game over, level up, try again?  That's basically all there is to this game.

Can you beat my high score?  Lemme know!

Dungeon Adventure Demo
It's another deep dig!  I downloaded the "demo" version in the app store for free, but you can also buy the full version on Steam for this game. This is another game with really small install counts . . . we're talking like 10+ on the app store it looks like.

Up front the concept doesn't seem horrible. Basically it's like Hearthstone meets Match 3, but without all the complexity and depth of Hearthstone. This game ends up being a lot like the game I reviewed above (Match 3 Dungeon) only . . . not as good, and there definitely aren't really any "dungeon" aspects other than the look of the game.

To sum up how combat works, you have control of a knight and a wolf. You make matches to power up their attacks.  Both the knight and the wolf have two attacks each. When you power up an attack, you drag that power in the direction of the enemy you want it to strike. It took a bit to discover how to do this since there really isn't a tutorial on playing.

After winning you're granted loot from the monsters you defeated.  The three types of loot I found were gems (no idea what these are used for), healing potions (use those out of combat to heal your knight and wolf), and a mortar and pestle (seems to be some kind of crafting component?).

I had the game lock up on me once and eventually lost my wolf and reached an unbeatable point in the game. In the options you could trash your data and start again, so I did that and started up again.

I don't know if I could recommend buying the game off of steam since the demo lacked so much, but there's something here that if developed correctly might have some legs?  Best of luck to the developer! Hope to see this improve in the future.

Dungeon Cleaning Crew: The Puzzle Game
We now leave our comfortable home of the Google Play Store and Steam and travel to the lands of the iOS app store.

Here's a free game for all ages that really isn't much of a match 3. It's more of just a "match" game. Basically you click on a matching item, around the edges of the pile of items, to that shown on the top right corner of the screen. The object is to clear at least half of the items from the pile.

As you progress, the board gains more items that you can "find," in the "dungeon," like a backpack or a helm.

So while dungeon themed, this is basically a puzzle game that isn't really what I'm looking for, but it's headed in the right direction. I like the idea of a cleaning crew going through a dungeon! I just wish there was more to it.


I'm not sure if I'll find more dungeon match-3 games out there, but for now I'm thinking the dungeon-based match-3 game I'm hunting for has yet to be developed! Again, if you hear wind of any games that haven't been mentioned yet, let me know, and I'll give it a shot.

Happy Dueling!

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