Video games have been around for a long time, so it’s hard for developers to come up with completely new genres. What developers can do is merge existing ones into interesting new experiences.
One idea is to take the puzzle genre, which is perfectly suited to touchscreen gaming, and add healthy serving of RPG elements in the form of combat, leveling and plundering dungeons for treasure.
If you want some iPhone games that feel new and fresh, mashing-up two of the most fun genres is a great place to start.
Puzzle Quest 2 ($1.99, freemium version)
When the first Puzzle Quest came out on the Nintendo DS, I was absolutely in love with the way it blended match three gameplay with leveling up a character in an RPG setting. It eventually made its way to iPhone, and then, Puzzle Quest 2 came, bringing with it some improvements, and some things I didn’t love.
However, it still delivered a fantastic package that can stand proudly next to the original. If you like puzzle games like the evil Candy Crush Saga, but want a little more reason to sit around matching gems, you will love this game.
There’s another game in the Puzzle Quest series available on iOS: Marvel Puzzle Quest. It’s not a bad game, but personally I prefer the fantasy setting of the originals, and the freemium hooks are much deeper in the the superhero variant of the game, which is always something that deters me from mobile games. I am just not a fan of piecing out the content.
Puzzle Quest 2 costs $1.99, and it does have some in-app purchases but they are just conveniences, and for that alone, it stands above the Marvel option. It’s probably worth mentioning that a freemium version exists if you choose to go that way.
Puzzles And Dragons (Free)
This game is absolutely massive in Japan, and with good reason, because it’s a really solid implementation of puzzle gameplay with RPG mechanics. It’s free-to-play, so it comes with all of the stuff you might expect to see from a game of the sort, but you can still have a really good time matching colored pieces while developing your character without ever spending a penny.
That is what I generally look for from a game like this, I don’t mind paying money for a game I enjoy but I don’t want to be prevented from having fun if I choose not to.
If you like games like Pokemon, this game will be right up your alley as it allows you to collect a massive amount of monsters that enhance your ability to fight. Just like Nintendo’s franchise, you can evolve and change these monsters. There are even special events that are only available for certain time periods, so the game remains fresh even if you are planning to play it for an extended period of time. With such addictive mechanics, you could be playing this game for months on end.
Dungeon Gems (Free)
This is the newest of the games on the list, and it comes from iOS games juggernaut Gameloft. The company has made some of the best-selling games on the platform, and whether you love the games the team is responsible for or not, it’s hard to deny that they do have a nice level of polish.
This game is no exception, and features a much higher level of visual polish to go along with the matching and RPG gameplay. It’s not that the other games on the list look bad, Dungeon Gems just takes it to another level.
Like Pokemon, at the start of the game you can choose a character based on elemental properties. Fire is weak to water, water to wood, and so on. This mechanic is featured heavily throughout the game, as the different elements are linked to the pieces you match on the board.
Once you have selected a starting character you can then venture out into the world to do battle with all kinds of beasts, some of which are incredibly beautiful. While this game doesn’t do much to rewrite the book from a gameplay perspective, a mixof satisfying mechanics and beautiful visuals make this a game that is definitely worth a shot. It’s free-to-play, so you can try it out without spending any money, and the F2P hooks aren’t too intrusive.
Pick Up & Play Dungeon Crawling
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? These games prove that you can take two long-running and highly successful genres, merge them together, and come out with something new and exciting. Both RPG and puzzle fans will enjoy these, so here’s hoping developers take the new RPG-puzzler genre to new heights.
Do you have any favorite iOS games that blend multiple genres into a new experience? Hit the comments section below and let us know!