Saturday, November 17, 2018

My Hunt for Match-3 Dungeon Games

I've been on the hunt lately for a casual match-3 dungeon game (that isn't Puzzle and Dragons), and it's led me to a few interesting finds that I probably wouldn't have played otherwise. It's varied from Not-really-match-3 to a couple Puzzle and Dragon clones.

Never played Puzzle and Dragons?  Start here. It's had over 5 million installs, so . . . well worth your time based on that number alone.

Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you a bit more about the apps and games I've journeyed through the past month.

Battle Camp
Here's your link! This one actually has more installs than Puzzle and Dragons! It's kind of a cuter style and reminds me of Puzzles and Dragons mixed with something like Poptropica. Apparently as you get deeper, there are things like cooperative raids? I'm not sure. I didn't make it past the second area of the game because I was looking for something that wasn't . . . you guessed it . . . Puzzle and Dragons.

I have to say my outfit was pretty good for being free, but I saw some people walking around with crazy stuff on and epic pets at their side.

Heroic Dungeon
You wanna link?  Here it is! This bad boy only has 5,000 installs, but I have to say, I had more fun playing it than I did Battle Camp. It's a little strange. Kind of like Minesweeper meets an AlphaCat style Match-3 game in a way.

I'm actually kind of surprised more people haven't played this game, but on the other hand, combat does get a little repetitive in that the match-3 doesn't last more than 2-4 moves usually and it's very easy to die in a dungeon and get your butt kicked. I dig the art style and cute monsters in this one (if that Kobold in the above screenshot doesn't scream "you no take candle" I don't know what does). It feels like a lot of work went into this creation, but ultimately it's not really what I'm looking for.

3 in a row pixel aka Match 3 RPG
Now THIS is a deep dig. It only has 1,000 installs and I think might have been created by a couple of kids?

I'm not sure, but at first the match-3 seemed very limited and archaic; however, as it turns out . . . it's actually an attempt to clone another couple of games that I found in my search for a Match-3 Dungeon Game . . .

10,000,000 and You Must Build a Boat
Now we're talking! I laid down $5 or so (on sale) on Steam to try out these games. I finished 10,000,000 just the other day, and it felt awesome!  Basically, the match-3 style would be what I call "Potion Motion" match-3.

I know the KingsIsle folks didn't invent this particular kind of Match-3, but most people that read this blog would know what I'm talking about when I say "potion-motion" match-3 (because it's a very well known mini-game inside Wizard101). You drag rows and columns in order to create a match rather than select-one-swap ala Candy Crush style.

The object of 10,000,000 is to raise your score to 10 million in order to escape the dungeon. Along the way, you level up in dungeon ranks; you level up your weapons, armor, shield, and magic; you fulfill quests; and you train special abilities that help raise your score.

I absolutely enjoyed myself playing game and there's nothing really like "winning" a casual game. guilty pleasure and move along.

Not surprisingly, You Must Build A Boat is the spiritual successor to 10,000,000.  It's basically the same game, but with a few more systems, hidden traps, and . . . a boat!  You start off with basically a boat the size of motor boat and end up with a giant party barge full of monsters who give you little bonuses.

Unfortunately this one requires a bit more grinding at the end game than I was hoping to encounter. Running the same dungeon 30 times just in hopes of getting a little bit gold to level up your dude's equipment was a little boring.  If I want to grind, I'll play an MMO. You know?

That said, my tolerance for punishment is high thanks to MMOs, so I'll probably grind out a few more hours in hopes of beating the game  . . . and then I probably won't be looking back.

 Match Land
My new boss actually turned me on to this game.  Check it out! This one has 100,000 installs on it. It's a lot like . . . you guessed it . . . Puzzle and Dragons, but the match style is slightly different in that, in P&D, you can grab one gem and drag it all around creating multiple matches before finally placing your gem down. In Match land you move a gem into a match-3 and then are given a timer to move another gem into a match -- once you make that match, you can move another gem . . . and so on until the timer ends. It allows for some interesting board effects like chained pieces and null pieces that need to be broken. I think I like that even better than the click and drag style of P&D.

Anyway, you basically match your way through encounters that have 3-4 waves of enemies and collect their "goop."  Then you set up shop selling their goop to people as food. LOL! I find the concept hilarious.

It's an evolver in that you evolve your heroes and even your shops.  I'm currently on the second island in this game, and I'll probably keep it installed, but it still isn't exactly what I'm looking for.

(BTW, I'm not sure if they partnered with Cartoon Network, but there's a Cartoon Network Match Land that has like 1 million downloads, so that might be worth looking at as well.)


So, I'm still on the hunt. If you happen to have any great game suggestions that would fit the bill for "Match-3 Dungeon game" . . . let me know in the comments! I'd love to try your suggestions!

Happy Dueling!

No comments: