My 3DS Game of the Month for May is actually two games – they come packaged together. It combines the match 3 puzzle genre with the RPG genre, with plenty of monsters to collect. In Japan, these two games were released separately – everywhere else gets them bundled together, which is nice.
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition are the two games to which I refer.
Obviously, the Puzzle part of the title comes from the match three gameplay. Dragons refers to the monsters that the player can collect – though the game isn’t limited to just dragons.
The RPG aspects of this game are the monster collection, and battles. By matching orbs during gameplay, you can get your team of monsters to unleash attacks against enemies. The more orbs you match, and the greater your combos, the more damage you’ll dish out.
Elemental rock-paper-scissors comes into play here, using similar elements to the three starts of any Pokémon game – Wood, Fire & Water. Wood beats Water, Water beats Fire and Fire beats Wood. There are two other elements – Dark and Light. These two are both weak to each other and strong against each other at the same time.
You collect new monsters by hatching eggs, which you gain from battling. You also gain chips, which allows you to evolve your monsters into more powerful beings.
Of course, Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition puts a Mario spin on the game – the monsters you can add to your team consists of Goombas, Koopa Troopas and a whole host of other familiar enemies from the Mario games.
Of course, Mario and Luigi serve as leader characters – your team consists of one leader and four monsters. You can also add a helper to your team, a role which a few different Toads serve.
You can transform your allies using items you gain from battles – e.g. a P-Wing can transform a Koopa Troopa into a Koopa Paratroopa.
The combination of match-3 gameplay and RPG elements makes for a fun little mix. Considering you get both games packaged together for around the same price as a single game, this is something I can recommend picking up if you enjoy puzzle games.