Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I took to my phone to check out a game called Puzzle & Dragons. I can’t take credit for discovering this game myself. It was actually suggested to me by one of you! That being said, thank you Alexis for bringing this game to my attention.
Puzzle & Dragons starts out with the player registering their name and then selecting one of three starter dragons. Each of the three dragons have a specific a type: one is water, another is grass and the final is fire (I promise that this isn’t a review of Pokemon X or Y). After this, the player is then led through a tutorial that last for five dungeons. The tutorial was filled with plenty of detail and won’t leave players in the dark about the game’s features.
Gameplay in Puzzle & Dragons is a mixture of card battle games often found on mobile devices and a puzzle game. The card battle system has players collecting different creatures and fusing them into another creature to make it more powerful. After a creature has reached its maximum level, players can fuse them with another creature to make them more powerful. Sometimes this will result in the creature being put back down to level one while still retaining its former stats , and other times it will result in the creatures changing into a new form.
The puzzle elements of the game are similar to games like Chuzzle or Bejeweled. Players must line up three or more orbs of the same color to break them. Breaking these orbs will cause creatures on the field that share the same type as the orb to attack. There are five different types of orbs that can be broken and each one corresponds to a different creature type. The types include: fire, water, grass, light and dark. Causing multiple rows of three or more orbs to break in a single turn will cause attacking creatures to deal more damage, even if the other orbs broken weren’t of those creatures’ type.
Some creatures in the game have special abilities that can be used to help players in battle. For example: I went with the fire type as my starter creature. This creature has a special ability that allows it to deal extra damage to an enemy after it has charged for a certain amount of turns.
Other abilities include restoring health and switching orbs on the battlefield to a certain color. Some creatures also have abilities that only work if that creature is the leader of the player’s party. An example of this is an angel that I keep in my party that restores health every time I match a set of orbs.
Also cool are the special dungeons that can be visited in the game. During my time playing the game there was a special dungeon based off of Batman: Arkham Origins (which would be a great game if I didn’t have to put up with it freezing and crashing almost once every hour. Here’s hoping for a patch to come out real soon). The dungeon had player’s running around Blackgate to fight and collect several villains from Arkham Origins. Players can also recruit the help of some of the heroes from the Arkham games.
One thing I will complain about is the drain that Puzzle & Dragons puts on my phone’s battery. I found that I had to spend most of my time playing the game with my phone plugged in and charging. The few times I didn’t do this, I had my battery drained in almost no time. Also, even with my phone plugged in, its battery still drained. I know that this is mostly the result of the game needing a constant connection to either Wi-Fi or a wireless network, but it’s still disappointing that the drain was bad enough that it limited the amount of time I could play in a single sitting.
Graphics in Puzzle & Dragons are great. The user interface is clean and easy to navigate and I didn’t run into any moments where the game slowed down. I also really enjoyed the designs of the dragons and creatures in the game. The three starter types were adorable and many of the other creatures looked awesome (Game Freak and Nintendo may want to take notice of this before they start working on the 7th generation of Pokemon).
The audio in Puzzle & Dragons isn’t bad either. All of the music is fun to listen to and has a generally upbeat feeling. It isn’t anything that I would have in any of my playlist, but it isn’t bad either. The same goes for sound effects. Do they sound good? Yes. Am I blown away by them? No.
Overall I really enjoyed Puzzle & Dragons and it will be staying on my phone for a long time (especially since save data is stored locally) The game does a great job of mixing two different game genres into one smooth experience and it has adorable/awesome looking creatures. The drain on the battery makes it almost impossible to play without sitting next to an outlet, which is never a good thing for a mobile game. Music and sound effects in the game are good, but they aren’t anything that will leave players in awe.
Puzzle & Dragon earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!