Puzzle & Dragons is a puzzle game with elements from RPGs and strategy games. It originally was released for smartphones and tablets but now Nintendo has bundled up two versions of the game – Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition onto one DS card.
Puzzle & Dragons has you fighting monsters in various levels by matching orbs of the same colour. On your touch screen there’s a grid filled with orbs of which can be coloured either red, blue, green, pink, yellow or purple and if you can match three or more of these colours in a row you successfully attack your foes. Now it all sounds simple enough but there is a rich strategy to this puzzle formula that will have you mulling over battles always thinking about your next move.
Each colour represents an element and if you don’t have a monster in play that is of this element, matching those coloured orbs are useless. It does absolutely nothing. There also is the fact that certain elements are susceptible to particular elements and building up combos or clearing as many orbs as you can in one-turn raises the power you unleash against your opponents. Luckily the game warns you before you go into a fight about what elements will be in play so you can select your team and level up characters most useful for the next battle. There also are many, many different types of monsters that can evolve in different and unique ways and it can be quite a daunting task actually choosing who will fight with you.
Out of the two versions I enjoyed the Mario edition much more because it lets you go straight into the fight without churning through a tonne of stale dialogue and useless story bits and pieces that force you to yawn. The Mario edition just has you making your way across a map similar to other Super Mario Bros. games and clearing each bit until you defeat the boss. Also Peach has been kidnapped again because apparently this seems like the only motivation for Mario to actually go up against Bowser. Very creative…
Puzzle & Dragons Z takes more of a Pokemon approach to the story, having you start out as a beginner exploring and training your dragons to become the top dog. This version has more to do within the game’s world but it isn’t necessary and the Mario version does a fine job in just feeding you the gameplay.
Overall Puzzle & Dragons is a fun game and it can suck you up, making you go through each and every level trying to dominate your opponents but it is just a puzzle game that has a bit of a short lifespan. It’s great in short sessions – maybe if you catch public transport or need to unwind just before a class – but I doubt anyone will find that much enjoyment playing this for hours and hours in one sitting. Puzzle & Dragons works well on the platform and is a great game to kill time with.
Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition is a puzzle game that has you matching orbs of the same colour into a line of three or more that in results makes your monster attack your foes. There are two versions of the puzzle game included in this pack and it has rich strategy and is great for short sessions.
+ Rich strategy before and during the battles
+ Great fun in mini-sessions
+ Plenlty of monster to choose from
– Short Life-span
– Puzzle & Dragons Z has boring dialogue
This 3DS review was conducted by a physical copy provided by Nintendo Australia.