By Michael Fontanini / January 15th, 2015
Puzzle & Dragons is a puzzle game series that has been doing very well in Japan. Today’s Nintendo Direct presentation revealed that Puzzle & Dragons Z is now coming to 3DS systems across Europe and North America. I know what you’re thinking. The image above doesn’t look like a puzzle game. In fact, it looks a bit like Pokémon. I can assure you that this is a puzzle game, and that it is NOT Pokémon. The puzzle aspect comes into play during battles.
The game will be available in May, and it even comes in a double pack with Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition! So you’re getting two games in one package (not two copies of the game, just to be clear). In Puzzle & Dragons Z, you will explore the land of Dracomacia. In the Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, you will, of course, be in the Mushroom Kingdom (and yes, Princess Peach is in trouble yet again). The images below show a sample battle scene displayed on the top screen in both games.
As mentioned above, it is during battle that the game’s main puzzle element comes into play. To damage your foes, you must match three or more colorful orbs on the bottom screen of your Nintendo 3DS. This puzzle system includes combos as well. More combos means more damage to your poor enemies (who will no doubt regret crossing your path). This puzzle mechanic in battle may not be right for some people, but I think it is an interesting and unusual mechanic. This setup makes the basic puzzle gameplay more fun and interesting than it would be without the battles and the rest of the game. The following images show the bottom screen in each game during a battle.
There’s plenty more to these games, though. In both, you can customize your party, adventure through dungeons, and fight plenty of baddies (leveling up your team along the way). You will gain new allies along the way, who will level up as they fight more battles (if you put them in your team). The images below show the party customization screen in both games.
Both of these games also feature a world map of sorts. It is a little different in each game though. In Puzzle & Dragons Z, the map is displayed on the lower screen, while in the Mario Edition, it is shown on the top screen. As you can see, the world map in the Mario Edition is very reminiscent of the New Super Mario Bros. series. They played music from that series during this part of the presentation as well. You may notice that in the Mario Edition screenshot below, the game shows counters for extra lives, coins, and your score.
These two games are very similar, and yet also very different. They might be a great package to pick up this summer if you like games like this. Remember, they come as a set and will be available at stores in May of this year.
3DSNintendo 3DSPuzzles & DragonsPuzzles & Dragons Mario Bros. EditionPuzzles & Dragons Super Mario Bros. EditionPuzzles & Dragons Z