Yesterday saw the release of the Puzzle & Dragons demo on the 3DS eShop. While the full game is a dual pack including both Puzzle & Dragons Z (which seems to be the more interesting of the two, as it’s a full RPG with its own story) and the Super Mario Bros. Edition, the demo is only for the Mario part.
Even so, I was looking forward to this demo. I had no interest in the game at all when it was first announced, but the footage eventually shown in a Nintendo Direct caught my attention. I tried the mobile Puzzle & Dragons game and found it to be enjoyable, though frustrating due to its time limits and microtransactions–so a version without these things sounded great to me!
Combat in Puzzle & Dragons is based on matching colored tiles to form combos. Unlike traditional match-3 games like Bejeweled, you can move a tile anywhere on the board, but you’re on a timer. Once the timer expires, you drop the piece and any matches you made are taken. It took me a little bit to get used to this. Instead of quickly making a match, like I initially wanted to do, it was often better to sweep the tile around the board, knocking other matches into position first. Once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed that additional piece of strategy.
To my disappointment, that’s really all there is to the demo. It doesn’t let you capture enemies to use on your team like you will in the main game. It doesn’t even let you customize your team. Instead, it just lets you play through a few encounters with pre-set teams. I managed to squeeze almost an hour’s worth of gameplay out of it, but only because I kept dying before I fully understood the gameplay.
I’m still interested in Puzzle & Dragons for the 3DS, but much like the demo for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, this one left me saying, “That’s it?”---
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