If you think match-three puzzles, dungeon crawling and monster collecting are a natural combination, Puzzle & Dragons is for you

Puzzle & Dragons is big in Japan, as they say, and soon North American gamers will have a chance to see what all the fuss is about. The game appears to have two distinct parts: monster collecting and dungeon exploration. Your battles against dungeon-bound opponents are carried out by sliding orbs around the game board, and putting them together in groups of three or more to launch your attacks. The more orbs you match, the more devastating the attack!

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You’ll collect gold, eggs, monsters and more on your travels across “countless” dungeons. There are more than 300 monsters to add to your ranks, and your dungeon-exploring team can be made even stronger by fusing and evolving them to increase their level and power. For an extra edge in battle you’ll also be able to call upon your friends for help before each fight by swapping ID codes and recruiting their monsters as helpers. “Magic Stones” that grant rare monsters, plus additional monster box slots, stamina potions and more will be available via in-app purchases.

Puzzle & Dragons sounds like an oddball mix of styles, but while it’s tough to judge what with everything being entirely in Japanese, gameplay videos currently floating around on YouTube give the impression that it could be a lot of fun too. One of the biggest drawbacks to a lot of monster-collecting games is that they don’t offer much in the way of actual gameplay, and if Puzzle & Dragons can bring a little depth to the genre it could be very good indeed. And hey, a million Japanese gamers (hopefully) can’t be wrong.

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Puzzle & Dragons will arrive on the App Store sometime this November.