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Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Edition Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Puzzle and Dragons on Nintendo’s 3DS, after all, this title originated as a mobile game in Japan, albeit an immensely popular one. It all begged the question, just how well will this game translate to Nintendo’s handheld. Well, you needn’t worry, because it’s actually pretty great.

Of course, as you would expect from a game being made for 3DS, developer GungHo Online has an ace up its sleeve in the fact that this new Puzzle and Dragons actually provides those playing with two games in one package, incorporating a new version of the original game and Puzzle and Dragons: New Super Mario Bros. Edition. Along with the two games comes a level of polish that is sure to impress most who play, however the thing that stands out most of all is just how fun these games are.

Puzzle and Dragons Z was the first title I decided to try and what greeted me was something reminiscent of Bejeweled and other similar titles. Basically, you are tasked with collecting allies and then, as you move through the world, you use their powers to defeat those who stand in your way.

The game is split into two screens, on the top you have the bad guys, and on the bottom the Bejeweled style screen, where you move orbs using the stylus in order to line them up, make them disappear and create combos. As you score these combos, they’ll build up and cumulate into an attack against the enemy. Should you have done well enough, the enemies hit point will be depleted and you’ll move on, otherwise they’ll attack, taking some of your hits. This will continue until either you win or lose, at which point you'll move further along the map until you eventually come up against a boss character. 

As you would expect, there are a few twists to the game. For instance, should you be in peril in terms of health, then there are ways to replenish it, such as by dragging hearts to form a combo, much like you would with the other orbs when trying to defeat the enemy. 

Whatever you are trying to do, be it replenish health or create a combo, if you want a certain orb to move from one side of the screen to the other, you can do that, however, this then causes any orb that it passes over to switch position, so you may not get the combos that you thought you would. On the bright side though, you can use this to your advantage, sacrificing a few turns in order to build up huge combos.

To mix things up even further, all of your allies comes with different stats and abilities, allowing you to perform attacks on the enemy without using the orbs, which is something that comes in handy if you are low on health.

Once you get the hang of the game, it becomes pretty addictive, as it’s one of these titles that just sees time flying past, seeing you play for a few hours without even realising it. All you'll need to do first is get used to the best way of playing.

You will notice that the features in Puzzle and Dragons: New Super Mario Bros. Edition are practically identical, as it is essentially the same game but with a new skin. Here, instead of Dragons you’ll have the ever familiar Yoshi, Goomba and Koopa Troopers. The orbs now take a Mario World style and of course, the map, art style and level format takes the guise of the New Super Mario Bros. games.

Whichever of the two games you decide to play, you’ll no doubt enjoy your time with Puzzle and Dragons. It’s an interesting take on the Bejeweled formula, which pinches the fun and addictive part of matching jewels to create combos and adds in some great RPG elements. It’s a lot of fun, if not a little familiar feeling.

Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/Xbox Live: wotta

(Version Tested: 3DS)


+ Addictive
+ Fun
+ Simple to Play


- Formula suits Puzzles & Dragons more than Mario

Edited On 07 May, 2015

( 1 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 1 year ago
Looking forward to this, really enjoyed the demo, it's a lot more challenging than other similar puzzle games.

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