For iPhone gamers, popular entries in the App Store are always something to be excited about, since there’s always the possibility to find a game in their favorite genre that can keep them hooked for hours.
This is exactly the case with Puzzle and Dragons. However, this Japanese mega hit is far more than just a one track success. It is an intricate and addictive game that hides beneath simple controls and mechanics.
In fact, while on the surface the game might seem like a simple puzzle, it encloses up to five different genres, making it appealing to a broad set of gamers.
Let’s dig deeper into this addictive game and see why it has become such a phenomenon by taking a look at the different genres it boasts.
While on the surface Puzzle and Dragons may seem just a simple puzzle game, the truth is its puzzle mechanics are deceptively complex, starting off in an oversimplified manner but adding layers of strategy as the gameplay evolves.
The basic premise behind the puzzles is to gain power to perform actions. Aligning three jewels will definitely be familiar to puzzle veterans, but in Puzzle and Dragons, each of these combos gives power to your monsters, allowing you to attack single enemies or groups of them, to heal your party of monsters and more.
This makes you think thoroughly every move you perform, since your main task is not to complete a puzzle, but to beat your enemies.
As you progress through the different dungeons, the monsters you defeat will drop eggs that contain (you guessed right) other monsters that can join your ranks.
Even better, as you progress through the game, you’ll gain access to rare and very powerful monsters that can make your fight against enemies much easier. Of course, fighting is not the only purpose of these monsters. In fact, all your monsters (including the rare and powerful ones) can ‘evolve’ into new, more powerful forms.
If you add these evolving mechanic to the fact that you can collect hoards of monsters to add to your ranks, you have a game very similar to the popular Pokemon franchise, known for being extremely addictive among monster collecting fans.
But the similarities with Pokemon don’t end there. In fact, Puzzle and Dragons also carries a pretty hefty Role Playing (RPG) element. With every fight you win, the monsters you have gain XP, which allows them to improve their ranks and overall characteristics, allowing them to become faster, stronger and better prepared for battles.
Battles are also turn-based, a la RPG. That means each party has to wait for their turn before attacking, which adds a whole new level of strategy to the game. This, of course, takes us to our next point…
As you might guess from the points above, all these elements make Puzzle and Dragons a game that is both easily accessible for newcomers and highly strategical for advanced players. For example, each monster and each dungeon is aligned to a certain element, like fire or ice. This makes a dungeon easier to tackle if you have the right monsters (ones of the opposing element usually).
Combining the right monsters to create the most balanced team is also very important. A team of strong hitters will not go far along if there are not monsters with healing capabilities in the team as well for example. In similar fashion, planning the way you execute puzzle combos is important if you have to get rid of several enemies at the same time.
Additionally, the game allows you to create different teams, each of which you can summon in order to better face the more advanced dungeons.
Last but not least, a feature that exists almost as an afterthought but that is extremely important to Puzzle and Dragons is its social integration.
When you enter a dungeon, the game randomly selects other players’ monsters from around the globe for you to pick someone as your ally to help you in that dungeon. Once it is over, the game encourages you to send an invitation to that player to become your friend.
Additionally, the game is constantly updated with new dungeons and challenges that are specially appealing for advanced players. This, coupled with the social nature of the game gives it an MMO vibe.
And that’s about it. As you can see, Puzzle and Dragons is a game that is way deeper and more engaging than it may seem at first, and if you like any of the elements mentioned above, its highly likely you will be spending a lot of time with it, especially considering it is free and that you can easily enjoy it in full without ever spending a dime.