The Match-3 genre is often quite maligned these days. Criticized for being repetitive and unoriginal, I'm out to prove that's not the case. There are plenty of imaginative reinterpretations of the familiar genre, and here's a look at four of the best.
OK, so Bejeweled is pretty standard Match-3 fodder. It's also the best purist interpretation out there, ensuring hours of fun for any jewel matching fan. There's no storyline to follow or anything complex like that. Just a series of modes focused on matching similarly colored gems to each other. It's pure, it's simple and it's a great time waster.
Ably demonstrating the variety that Match-3 gaming can offer, Scurvy Scallywags combines pirates, the classic humor of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert and, of course, Match-3 gameplay. It's great fun and surprisingly deep, thanks to the ability to build new ships and explore side quests. Particular joy stems from the customization options available for those who want to create their own personalized pirate.
It might be a little difficult to remember how many zeros need to go in the title, but everything else about 10000000 is very memorable. It's a dungeon crawling game that combines Match-3 style sensibilities to create a potently addictive title. Plenty of upgrades and objectives are available to keep one playing into the night, even if you started playing that morning.
Like precious little else out there in the Match-3 genre, Triple Town is an unique proposition. The player's sole objective is to grow the biggest possible city, all via matching three or more game-pieces. Combine three pieces of grass and make a bush, with three bushes turning into a tree and so forth. It really is quite original stuff, and strangely addictive too. Who would have thought that matching a few tiles of the same shape could do so much?