Empires and Puzzles is a match 3 game, but it’s different from many of the other match 3’s out there. It combines an RPG, base building, collectible card game and match 3 all in one. And with success; the game has been downloaded over 10 million times and has received an average rating of 4.7 stars on both Android and iOS. The game was released in 2017 by Small Giant Games (recently bought by Zynga).
But is the game really that fun, and worth downloading? In today’s review we’re going to go over Empires and Puzzles’ gameplay, the graphics, whether it’s pay to win and more in order to find out if this game is worth the download. Let’s get started.
As we’ve said before, Empires and Puzzles is a match 3 game, but it takes a whole new approach to the genre. You start out with a short tutorial that introduces you the the game’s mechanics and the characters.
It also gives you an introduction to the story line. If you’ve ever played a match 3 game before then it’s pretty self explanatory: match 3 of the same color and you’ll do damage to the enemies. You can also do bigger combos for increased damage and power ups. When you complete a battle you get rewards (experience, resources).
However, there are different enemy types and different damage types. The amount of damage you deal depends on whether or not the attack type you’re using is strong or weak against the enemy. For instance, matching 3 fire blocks will deal fire damage, if the enemy is of the nature type it will deal double damage. On the other hand, ice damage deals half damage to nature enemies.
In addition, you have heroes at the bottom of the screen. You can click on these heroes (if they have mana available) to perform their abilities which deal damage to the enemies or heal allies.
The heroes come in different rarities, ranging from common to legendary. They’re obtained through what’s called a “summoning portal”.
There’s also the base building aspect of the game. While you’re playing, you can return to your base to build new building and upgrade existing ones. These buildings collect resources, train heroes and create items.
The gameplay verdict
Overall the game is quite fun. If you enjoy match 3 games but want some more interactive gameplay then this is a good game to try. Whereas in most match 3 games you simply match 3 until you clear a level in this game you have a lot more to do. Attacking with heroes, collecting heroes, upgrading heroes, defeating enemies and building your base all make the game a lot more interactive.
The story line was a bit meh in our opinion, but to each their own. Maybe you’ll like it.
However, we did notice while playing the game that sometimes there are a few bugs in the game. For instance, when you’re going through the beginning stages where they’re still explaining how the game works you sometimes can’t go back to previous menus. The buttons are there, but they simply do not work. Overall this is not a huge deal, but it can be a bit annoying sometimes.
The same thing happened to when we wanted to switch out our team of heroes. We could only switch one hero and then the buttons stopped working except for the button you’re supposed to press to start the fight.
The graphics of the game are nice, albeit sometimes a little bit clunky. The characters in the story line especially are very beautifully animated. The enemies are a bit hit or miss, some of them look great while others look quite basic and uninspiring.
The best way to check out the graphics is to watch a video of the game, so we’ll leave one here that you can check out:
It Empires and Puzzles pay to win?
Empires and Puzzles is a free-to-play game with micro transactions, also known as freemium. As is often the case with games such as these, there are premium currencies in the game that you can buy for real money. In Empires and Puzzles this premium currency is known as gems. Gems have many uses; unlocking new heroes, getting more food, iron energy, increasing the hero cap, unlocking battle items and more.
You do get a small amount of gems while playing the game, but honestly it’s far from enough. Empires and Puzzles is monetized pretty aggressively and we do consider it to be quite pay to win. If you use a lot of gems the game becomes a lot easier.
Nevertheless, it is possible to play the game without having to spend any money, you’ll just have to wait around a lot more. You can also replay earlier levels to obtain more resources, which is pretty much essential.
In addition, if you’re interested in more information on how to obtain free gems in the game, you can check out the guide we wrote in our post where we covered cheating and hacking in Empires and Puzzles.
Conclusion: worth playing?
If you enjoy match 3 games and can bear the fact that Empires and Puzzles features quite a few micro transactions then the we recommend you to try out the game.
Even though match 3 games get stale quite fast in our opinion Empires and Puzzles managed to keep us engaged for a longer time because there’s so much to do. The building, collecting and battling is a lot more interesting than just completing the puzzles on its own.
If you absolutely despise micro transaction then we recommend you to look elsewhere, unless you’re willing to grind a lot (which can be a lot of fun as well!).