Review: Puzzle & Dragons is a seamless combination of popular game genres

Solve puzzles to combat monsters and bosses in a variety of dungeons.

Puzzle & Dragons, long a major hit overseas, is a fantastic combination of puzzle solving and dungeon crawling for the iPhone, and an extremely addictive experience. The game merges a number of diverse gameplay elements, and while the app, itself, suffers from some issues in setup and the interface is a bit dry, the game is extremely addictive.

After installation, Puzzle & Dragons will run through more than 300 updates that can take up to ten minutes, so be sure you are on a Wi-Fi connection the first time you play. After initial setup, it runs fairly smoothly without any slowdowns and cellular play was not an issue. The interface is clunky at times and some text is hard to read, but the game runs smoothly and takes full advantage of the Retina display on newer iPhones. The goal of the game is to complete matches of three or more on the screen. The combos you create will feed monsters you have with you that in turn deal out damage to the enemies you are facing, so the higher the combo you get, the more damage you do. Because you can move blocks anywhere on the screen to create combos, it's not like other Match 3 games that require single moves to create combos. You have the run of the screen, but it gets much harder as you level up.

Puzzle and Dragons is a great mixture of old-school dungeon crawling, addictive puzzle matching, and level-up mechanics that will keep you glued to your iPhone's screen for hours. The setup could be streamlined significantly to make the game more accessible, but once you're in, you'll probably be hooked very quickly.

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