Parents' Guide to

Puzzle Combat: Match-3 RPG

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Training, other tasks almost eclipse match-3 games.

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The lengthy tutorial makes for a slow start -- but is likely necessary because of all the aspects the app involves. There are tickets that will summon a hero in Puzzle Combat: Match-3 RPG, two types of energy -- for story-related and special ops battles and for raids to get food or metal by challenging other players in matching games -- along with other elements that add some complication. A number of aspects are explained as they're introduced. Others, such as the damage heroes can sustain in matching games, are less clear. Even with the initial guidance players receive, they may not fully understand how some portions work until they've used the app for awhile.

Players handle various duties -- such as mining metal for building -- in addition to playing matching games to get resources, so they'll need to manage their time. Some help with that is provided, though. For example, you can't play matching games without energy reserves, but you'll be told you can either conduct a raid or work on improving your base or heroes instead, which may help prevent any lengthy downtime. Activities you need to undertake are listed as missions -- such as upgrading your headquarters or completing 10 trainings -- which should help you figure out what to do next. You can actually end up spending a fair amount of time viewing the story scenes and overseeing hero training and base building. As a result, some players may be disappointed if they downloaded the app primarily because they wanted to play matching games. Those are part of the overall experience, but not the only focus. Puzzle Combat: Match-3 RPG would be a better fit for gamers who view playing matching games -- and trying to complete building and other tasks -- as fun.

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