Puzzle Tale mixes match-three gameplay with quests and city-building. In each level, users are asked to click and drag their mouse over connected, matching symbols in groups of at least three. Each resource is connected to a final crafted product, and these resources are required in different quantities, depending on the item.
For instance, users must clear 24 grass squares from the board in order to create one hay stack, while eight bundles of wheat are required for a single loaf of bread. Chickens create eggs, trees are turned into piles of lumber, berries are transformed into cakes, and so on.
Gamers can explore various locations, like a wheat field or a forest, in order to unlock different groups of resources. Each location has a different limit to gameplay. For instance, the wheat field is move limited, asking players to earn as many resources as they can before running out of moves. The forest introduces an HP bar and enemies, which drain HP until players are forced to leave the forest. Finally, the mine is a timed-based area, challenging users to earn as many resources as they can in just 60 seconds.
Back at the world map, players use these resources to build sheep pens, pumpkin fields, walls for protection and other buildings. In cases where multiple groups of resources are required to complete a single task, players can spend the game’s currency, Essence, to complete tasks automatically. This Essence is earned in small quantities for free, or can be purchased with real money.
Over time, players will unlock boosts to their productivity from the game’s “Mentors.” The field Mentor, for instance, can decrease the number of grass necessary to create a hay bale from 24 to 21, and then to 18, and so on.