DeNA has announced the launch of Monster Match on iOS and Android. The game (developed by DeNA’s San Francisco office) is similar in many ways to Gungho’s Puzzle & Dragons, giving players the chance to raise monsters, battle their way through dungeons, and evolve their team into something extraordinary.
Monster Match is free-to-play, and gives players a choice of starting base monsters. Each creature comes with an elemental affinity, and therefore a strength and weakness against other monsters. Light monsters are powerful over dark monsters, for instance. Players may take up to five of their own monsters into battle, and are joined in each by a creature from another player’s team.
The biggest difference between Monster Match and Puzzle & Dragons is the method through which battles are conducted. Instead of picking up a gem and dropping it elsewhere on the board to create a match of three gems, Monster Match allows players to tap and drag their finger to create a line of two or more like-colored gems, even diagonally, creating all sorts of unusual shapes depending on how many gems might be touching on the screen.
Matches of four or more gems create power-up items on the screen, which may remove whole rows or large areas from the board, wipe out all gems of a single color, and more. Each gem destroyed equals damage points caused by monsters of that same color, so strategy will allow players to focus on one particular color of matches if they know their enemies are weak to that type.
Players earn new monsters at random while in dungeons, or can purchase them with real money. The game is further monetized via the sale of stamina, which would otherwise recharge slowly over time. Stamina determines how many dungeons a player can complete in a single gameplay session.
“Monster Match is a vibrant game that will appeal to fans of puzzle games and collectors who grew up playing games like Pokemon,” said Roger Royce, product leader for Monster Match at DeNA, via a company release. “We’re excited to bring this fun and entertaining experience to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Android. The game’s pick-up-and-play accessibility makes it fun for casual players, while deeper puzzle strategies and monster team management offer long-term depth for more engaged players.”