There’s a plot to Mystika 3: Awakening of the Dragons, but honestly? It’s not one that you’ll probably pay much attention to. There’s something about the world being in danger, and elemental eggs needing to be rescued from thieves, but really, that’s not what you’re going to remember. Instead, it’s the sense of enjoyment that comes from the many Match-3 style levels that will entice you into coming back for more.
Each Mystika 3 level follows a familiar, but fairly satisfying pattern. Tiles are scattered across a board, with some having colored backgrounds. Your aim is to clear all of the color. This is done by matching tiles on top of the colored areas. It’s a simple idea, but one that can be quite tricky. This is partly because some areas require multiple swaps to fully clear the tile. Also, some areas are tricky to get to, meaning you have to plan accordingly to get to that last tricky tile.
Sometimes, the game mixes things up a little, requiring you to clear specific tiles in order to unlock cages. It’s mostly the same, but it requires some adjustment to your strategies.
Mystika 3: Awakening of the Dragons throws in some typical Match-3 elements, such as the ability to create power-ups. This is done through matching 4 or 5 tiles at once. Matching 4 produces a small power-up that can clear a small area, while 5 creates a bomb that explodes, destroying a substantial part of the board. Other bonuses can also appear, enabling you to clear all of one type of tile. Again, it’s a familiar concept, but Mystika 3: Awakening of the Dragons’s ability to keep things fast paced ensures it doesn’t feel stale. You can even match tiles while others are still falling, enhancing that urge to do things more quickly.
As you play, you earn coins which can be used to buy small upgrades outside of each level. These tend to be things like a coin boost every few stages or extra lives. They’re not huge boosts, but they all help in making you feel like you’re getting somewhere.
Lives are somewhat useful, as once in a while you have to use your Match-3 skills in battle. Instead of simply clearing colored tiles, you’re set the task of unleashing spells at a huge enemy. Collect up plenty of red wizard hats, for instance, and you can use them to cast a fireball spell. Collect water, and you can ‘freeze’ your enemy. New spells are unlocked through spending money so, again, there’s another reason to earn as much as you can. There’s not a huge amount of strategy to these stages, but they’re a little more exciting than the conventional means of play.
Mystika 3: Awakening of the Dragons also intersperses the Match-3 action with some other familiar casual gaming modes.
For example, you occasionally have to solve Hidden Object scenes. These aren’t particularly taxing, but they go some way to breaking up the potential monotony of the game just being about Match-3. It’s a similar case for point-and-click scenes. They’re not as memorable as the fun you’ll have matching tiles, but they’re a nice enough distraction.
Overall, Mystika 3: Awakening of the Dragons is a quite satisfying, though ultimately familiar Match-3 experience. Fast-paced in nature, it will draw you in for longer than you’d expect, even if you’re starting to tire of the genre. It’s a game that reminds you of when Match-3 can go well, and its moments of different challenges further enhances the fun that can be had. It should last you quite a while too, thanks to its 200 levels.