Empires and Puzzles is a slick match-stuff RPG that mixes in a bunch of city-building aspects to keep things fresh. And it's currently the Game of the Day over on the App Store. So, if you're picking it up for the first time today, we thought it'd be a good idea to give you some hints and tips to ensure that you're getting the most out of the experience.
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The game is all about matching gems in straight lines of three or more. Match some gems and they'll turn into troops. These troops will then march up the screen and hit any monsters that they come into contact with.
That's an important point to consider though. If you match a group of gems on one side of the screen, they're not going to wander over to the other. Troops always walk straight up from where they're matched.
That doesn't mean that matching gems that aren't going to score you a hit is a waste of time though. Gems also power up your character's special moves. Match some green gems, for example, and they'll add some mana to any green character that you've got in your army.
Different monsters also have different colours. You can use this to figure out what you need to be hitting them with. Check out the wheel in the top left corner of the screen to find out which colour gems are strongest against which colour characters.
Sometimes you'e not going to be able to move the board around to use the most powerful colours, but bear in mind that it's always better to use any colour rather than the one that is weakest against the opponent that you're fighting.
It's best to have as mixed a group of characters as possible, because that's going to set you in good stead whatever you come up against. However, you can see what you're going to be fighting before you set out on a level, so if you've got plenty of powerful characters you can tailor your army.
The troops are the soldiers that stomp out when you match some gems. Not only does the game let you unlock new heroes, you can also unlock new troops. Changing these powers up your team, and means that your matches are going to do more damage, so if you get some new ones, make sure you throw them into the mix.
Another important component of the game is your city. Here you can collect and store resources that you can use to level up your heroes. One thing to focus on early in the game is having enough storage for your food, and enough farms to keep producing that food.
You'll be spending a lot of food on levelling up, so the more of it you can collect and store, the better placed you're going to be. Steel is important too, but smart players are going to focus on getting as much food as possible to begin with.
It's also important to have space to train new heroes. Training new heroes might not get you the massive rewards that drawing them from the portal offers, but it will give you more raw materials with which to upgrade your main team, which is pretty damn important as well.
You'll also want to build your watchtower when you get the chance. This lets you take on other players in raids. The tickets you spend on raids are separate from the tickets you'll spend in the single player campaign, so having them unlocked gives you more to do without spending real-life money.
Remember to collect any rewards you're offered. You'll see them along the bottom of the screen when you're at your home base, and they can offer up a decent way to keep your coffers full. Also check out the video section to the far left of your home base, here you can watch a video and get some pretty good rewards.
Don't get too disheartened if you're getting beaten a lot in raids either. They're tougher than the single player, and you're going to need to get your team and your town up to scratch if you want to compete with players who've been with the game since it first came out.