There's no doubt that Puzzle & Dragons is addictive, but there's also a lot of substance behind it. Sometimes that substance is over-bearing and intimidating, but underneath is a very polished, very satisfying character-driven puzzle game that I can safely say has earned it's place on my 3DS next to other classics like Pokemon Puzzle Challenge. Some people will get more mileage out of it than others, even between the two different versions included in this package, but it's perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions at any time of day for any skill level.
+Excellent foundational puzzle mechanics
+A mountain of content that will keep you busy for ages
+Charming localization that has a lot of fun
+A great transposition of a mobile game onto a dedicated system
-A lot of bells and whistles that can get in the way for people who just want puzzles
-An unadventurous use of the Mario license
-Some unappealing animations and graphic designs
-Numbers everywhere all the time. So many stats. So many things -Everything explodes in a flurry of colour and light. Rainbows have lost all meaning to me.
Originally designed as a mobile game by GungHo, the Puzzle and Dragons franchise has dominated a huge portion of the market share for fans of puzzles and also fans of dragons in Japan. It's free-to-play model and RPG mechanics have secured its place on the phones of millions of people. But far too often we're reminded that mobile and console game design don't always work on the same wavelengths. Can a fresh coat of Mario-themed paint and a 2-games-in-1 deal make this retail release worth diving into?