Developer: GungHo Online Entertainment

Price: Free
Version: 4.21
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use/Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

At the core of many mobile games are two trends popular with the masses. In many cases, it’s a ‘develop and hope’ analogy driving production. Developing in spite of logic, hoping there may be a hit at the end of it.

This time, the results are surprisingly good.

This dungeon crawler tasks players with engaging in battles with the most sinister of creatures. At the beginning, players must choose their monster of choice, be it a Turra, Plessie or Brachy. The object of the game is to test their handle at puzzles, venturing deeper into dungeons in the hopes of finding the legendary dragon.

Puzzle & Dragons requires a stable connection, so playing this on the move will prove difficult. Essentially, players ally with others using the connection to help them get past tougher foes.

Players much match three or more orbs of the same colour, horizontally or vertically. Players can do this by dragging orbs across the screen, then tap the monster they want to attack. By holding a finger on an orb, players can see if an attack will be effective against their enemy as different coloured orbs represent different attack styles. Matching red orbs will produce a fire attack, whereas blue will battle with frost. Defeating an enemy will give the player coins as well as experience points and stamina increases. Some monsters will even drop eggs containing little monsters. Players collect these and add to their roster. From the roster, players can then put together a small team to tackle the dungeons. This is especially helpful as monsters all have individual abilities and attributes.

A monster’s level can also increase through power-up fusions. Smaller monsters are used as a surge for larger monsters, making them stronger and more adept in battle.

If a monster is having a particularly good run, they’ll start to flash, enabling the player to use a special attack on their foes. This is recharged after a while but will devastate anything left on the screen.

In addition, Magic Stones can be earned and used on an egg machine. This gives players a better chance of collecting a rare monster.

Puzzle & Dragons is really addictive. It’s free to play but very subtle in its attempts to make money.

Puzzle & Dragons offers incentives for continuous play. Ranking up allows players to increase the maximum amount of friends they can battle with. Also, the more its played, the higher chance players will appear on the helper screen for other players.

There are few faults to find in Puzzle & Dragons. There’s a lot of replayability and enjoyment to be had. The game looks great. It’s deep and complex, but equally easy to get into.

Puzzle & Dragons is a rare combinations that works, and brings with it a fine gameplay experience that will keep players coming back for more.

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