Eva Studio’s Facebook puzzle game Mermaid has a simple title and an equally simple premise: to save the Little Mermaid’s friends from an underwater world that’s being filled with garbage. However, where most other match-three games are completed one basic level at a time, each level in Mermaid comes in three parts, and can be completed in a variety of ways.
Each group of three level tasks or experiences is set on the same game board, with the same initial layout of fish. The first may ask players to simply clear a large number of fish from the board without running out of moves, while another may ask them to do so under a time limit. A third mode sees players removing garbage from squares by making matches with fish on top of them, while another asks players to move garbage pieces to the bottom of the game board for collection. Eventually, these tasks may be combined for more complexity in a stage. That is, players may need to clear garbage squares while also removing a large number of fish before completing a single version of the level.
When making matches of four-or-more like-colored fish, players receive power-up fish, capable of clearing whole rows or columns of fish from the board, or even all fish of a single color. Users can also purchase their own power-ups, like a net that can remove one fish of the player’s choosing from the board.
Gamers must successfully complete at least one version of the level before unlocking the next, until they’ve eventually completed all three. While gamers can technically move past a stage after they’ve finished its first version, they’ll eventually need to complete all of these tasks if they’d like to unlock bonus chests on the level map.
Mermaid is available to play for free on Facebook.