Puzzle Fighter (iOS, Android, Google Play)

Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo is one of my top three favorite puzzle games, right on up there with Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble and plain ol’ Tetris.  So I was really excited when Capcom announced a new Puzzle Fighter game for mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  I was worried since it was going to be free-to-play, but you can read on to find out if my concerns were justified.

They’ve changed a few gameplay aspects in this sequel, but the basic rules are still the same.  Gems drop from the top and you must rotate them to fall into place at the bottom.  When you line up gems of the same color into a square, they’ll form a bigger gem.  Circle blocks will clear out gems of that same color, and the bigger the gem, the higher the payout.  I was worried about it having touch screen controls, but they work pretty well here.

Some of the gameplay changes I don’t mind either.  One thing they added to this game was a life bar.  When you match and clear gems, you’ll deplete your opponent’s life bar, and whoever’s life gets to zero first, loses.  In the old game, if your stack of blocks reaches the top, then you lose.  But here, it just takes a big chunk of life off you bar, so your opponent will still have an advantage.  I should also mention they added a colorblind mode, which is good.

But what I don’t like is how they handle garbage blocks.  In the old game, when you match up gems, you can dump garbage blocks on your opponent.  The blocks will count down and when they reach zero, you can match them again.  This gives players about to lose a chance for a comeback.  But in this game, you don’t get to use garbage blocks until you reach a certain rank in online mode, and it takes FOREVER to get enough points to do that.  I’ve had this game on my iPad for a few months and I still haven’t gotten past the first rank, and I’m pretty good at the game.  Without the garbage blocks, the game just isn’t the same.

You can play against the computer in three missions per day and that’s it.  The rest of the time you can play online.  But again, it’s not that much fun without garbage blocks, and if you have a bad connection, it’s hard to play at all.  You can spend earned coins to level up your attack moves when you match up gems, or use real money to level them up.  So the term ‘pay to win’ really applies to this game and it sucks.  That’s what makes it so hard to get anywhere in this game.

A lot of others complain about the 3-D chibi characters, but I don’t mind them at all.  And the background stages are cool, too.  There’s even a couple from Okami and Dr. Wily’s castle from Mega Man 2!  But unfortunately, you can only play as a select few characters like Chun-Li, Ryu, Blanka, Frank West, etc.  The rest you have to buy.  Which kills me since some of the characters I’ve seen include Mega Man X, a Servebot, and supposedly later even Phoenix Wright!  Argh!  But you have to buy those characters and they’re really expensive and not always available.

I played this game at PAX West last year and got to pick Mega Man X and use garbage blocks.  I know they told me the game would get some changes when it was released, but I still feel like I was lied to.  The game I downloaded was drastically different.  I would rather pay money for the whole game, and then be able to play the computer and local players whenever I wanted, and choose all the characters and stages, too.  A console version like that would be wonderful.  The game is free to download, so it won’t hurt you if you want to try it.  But if you liked the original game as much as I did, be prepared for some disappointment.

Kid Factor:

Characters can punch and kick each other, but it’s very cartoony.  Parental supervision is recommended for online interactions and in-game purchases.

One Response to “Puzzle Fighter (iOS, Android, Google Play)”

  1. I love the Puzzle Fighter series too. I like that they’re adding other Capcom characters to it. I imagine the characters fight as you play just like in SPF2T?

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