Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
How many times have you played a city building game and found yourself frustrated at the lack of actual gameplay? All too frequently, players find themselves just tapping relevant buttons at the right time without ever feeling like they're an active part of developments. No more! Or at least not in the case of Puzzle Craft, a game that blends town building mechanics with match three gaming and a dash of Zoo Keeper for good measure.
Admittedly, the focus is still more on town building than on anything else. There's hardly a story to speak of with everything centered around enjoying the experience more than having something to aim for. Players' time is divided between choosing areas to place new buildings, collecting taxes and completing Match Three levels.
These levels are used to collect up resources which go on to help form new buildings. It's a circular effect with more buildings meaning more resources and bonuses, which in turn mean more new buildings. A levelling up structure also encourages this with certain buildings only available upon reaching a particular level.
The Match Three sections are quite simple with players able to choose what resources they want to focus on. For instance, use the mine and the resources available are items such as rocks, coal and ore. Use the farm and everything changes to grass, trees, carrots, chickens and pigs. Combine a certain number of these items and other things are created, such as bread or kindle.
A typical session will be spent collecting tax (which is available every two real hours) then going to the farm to collect up some food based resources. These are then used to produce more moves down in the mine, before using such items to build a new structure and continue growing.
It's all very simple and clearly laid out thanks to the numerous hands-on tutorials. Story led gamers won't be enticed by Puzzle Craft but fans of freemium focused city builders will enjoy the extra level of interaction. It's particularly refreshing that in-app purchases are far from vital to progress. A rarity in such a money focused genre.