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Match Land Is A More Lovable Sort Of Puzzle Adventure Game

Popularized by games like Puzzles & Dragons, mobile match-three puzzles games usually contain overly-complex mechanics, obnoxious microtransactions and a constant stream of ads for the amazing heroes you could get if you just spent enough cash. Take away those things and you get Match Land.

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Developed by Race Cat and available as a free download for iOS and Android devices, Match Land strips away much of what annoys me about standard collectible character puzzle games, resulting in a delightfully streamlined game with an adorable pixel-drawn look.

Illustration for article titled iMatch Land/i Is A More Lovable Sort Of Puzzle Adventure Game
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The goal in Match Land is to battle through turn-based match-three puzzle adventures in order to harvest monsters to fuel a series of fantasy shops. Once enough resources are gathered the shop can be opened, producing coins and other resources handy for upgrading the game’s heroes.

Illustration for article titled iMatch Land/i Is A More Lovable Sort Of Puzzle Adventure Game

The heroes themselves are bright and cheery lot, their colors corresponding to the icons that appear in the puzzle sequences.

Illustration for article titled iMatch Land/i Is A More Lovable Sort Of Puzzle Adventure Game
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In battle, players are given a set amount of time to make as many matches as possible, after which damage is tallied and dealt. Cute little pixel monsters count down their attacks, so it’s up to the player to murder their sweet little faces before they counterattack. Should the player triumph they’ll be rewarded with resources to upgrade their characters and shops in order to venture even deeper into the heart of Match Land. 

It’s a very sweet game that doesn’t feel like it asks a lot. There’s an energy counter, but when it’s empty players can watch an ad to keep playing. Feels like a fair trade. There are more powerful characters to collect, but the game never parades them in front of the player. They’re there, waiting to be unlocked through play or via in-game purchase.

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Match Land is the most accessible and pleasant match-three puzzle adventure games I’ve played. If you’re tired of waiting for your five-star anime character to drop or just looking for a fun time sliding around colored icons, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

methusalah
Methusalah

I’ll probably check this out. That star wars droid game pulled me back into the whole match 3 world, but I always forget how rough it is when you hit the Candy Crush Saga-esque difficulty wall in games like this and you suddenly have to either repeat levels 30 or 40 times to get a perfect run and complete it or pony up unreasonable amounts of cash for power-ups and the like in order to continue at a decent pace.