These Could Be the Droids You’re Looking For
AS Exclusive Review Summary
- Menu backdrops and character models look nice
- Is a competent match-3 puzzle game
- An utterly pointless story
- Aggravating forced tutorials get in the way far too often
Looking for Droids?
Star Wars: Puzzle Droids is, surprise surprise, a puzzle game about droids from a galaxy far, far away. Despite the connection to one of the greatest sci-fi film universes of all time, the gameplay is pretty standard stuff. That doesn’t mean it can be tricky, though.
No Force Required
If you’ve played a match-3 puzzle game at all in your lifetime, chances are you know what to expect here. If not, you’ll likely need a few pointers if you want to earn gold on every level.
- Goals are all that matter. Whether it’s clearing a specific number of specific tiles, or breaking blocks or whatever, it’s all that matters. Everything else is just window dressing. So if, say, there are a bunch of ropes holding some tiles in place but the level goal is to clear out blocks, you don’t need to bother with the ropes – unless they get in the way of what actually matters, of course.
- The patterns you match matter. Any grouping of four or more tiles will create a power-up, with the general shape of their grouping determining the power-up. two-by-two grids will earn one thing, a line of four will earn another type of thing, and so on. Try to remember what makes what so you can create more useful items along the way.
- How you swipe determines what you get with some power-ups. For example, when grouping four tiles in a line you’ll create something that will clear entire rows or columns on the puzzle grid. If you make this match by swiping up or down, you’ll create a power-up that works vertically. If you swipe left or right to make it, it’ll work horizontally.
- Power-ups can be combined. If you have two power-ups that are next to each other, you can swipe them into each other to merge their effects and usually clear out a lot of space on the board.
- Replay levels for extra stuff. You’ll usually get in-game currency for clearing a level the first time, but most can be played again on a more difficult setting to earn even more cash as well as some premium currency. Assuming you’re up for the challenge, this is always worth attempting.
- Don’t forget about your special items. As you progress you’ll unlock and earn some special one time use power-up items that can be used on command. They all have different effects, which the incessant tutorials will be sure to go over whether you want them to or not, and can be a big help when you’re running out of moves. Just remember that they’re limited, so if you use all of them you’ll either have to wait to earn more (hopefully) or buy more yourself.
Good for What it is
I can’t see Star Wars: Puzzle Droids surprising or even impressing anyone (at least not anyone who’s already familiar with the genre), but it is a decent match-3 puzzle game. So long as you go in expecting more of the same but with Star Wars, you should have a good time.
Star Wars: Puzzle Droids Review
Exactly What it Sounds Like
If you think you know what Star Wars: Puzzle Droids is like purely based on the name, chances are you’d be correct. It is, indeed, a match-3 puzzle game set in the Star Wars universe and is very droid-centric. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll definitely know what you’re getting into.
Swipe, Match, Etc
As with most licensed free-to-play mobile games, for some reason there’s a completely unnecessary (and not good at all) story behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. In this case that means matching like-colored symbols via swiping on the screen as a means of ‘repairing’ The Force Awakens’ BB-8 after some sort of memory malfunction. Of course C-3PO is hanging around to shoehorn in all the awkward exposition that nobody needed. Sorry, I just don’t understand why games forcing a story into games like this continues to be a thing.
Anyway, ridiculous and pointless plot aside, Star Wars: Puzzle Droids can be a bit of a looker when it wants to. The puzzles themselves are par for the course, with various shapes and colors spread around a grid and whatnot, but some of the effects when power-ups are used are decent. And whenever the game has the opportunity to throw in a 3D model of a recognizable character is usually does so to good effect. BB-8 and C-3PO look nice, as do some of the critters and other droids that sometimes appear in the periphery. I mean it’s nothing jaw-dropping, but it looks good.
Star Wars: Puzzle Droids is a perfectly serviceable match-3, honestly. Unless you’re a colossal Star Wars fan I don’t think it necessarily stands above what’s already available, but it does the job for what it is. Creating combo chains that clear out a bunch of space is plenty satisfying, and seeing a bunch of power-ups go off at once or in tandem is pretty neat.
I don’t have a problem with the game being more or less the same as every other match-3, really, but I dislike the tutorials quite a bit. Maybe it’s partially because I’ve played at least one match-3 before (I’ve played a lot more than that but you get the idea), but oh my god does it drive me up the wall when all I want to do is get into whatever level I’m playing but have to wade through several screens worth of ‘This is how you do the blatantly obvious thing’ text. And it happens way too often.
More of the Same
If you like match-3 puzzle games then you can’t go wrong with Star Wars: Puzzle Droids. At least, so long as you haven’t gotten sick of them yet. It’s a perfectly competent game despite the pointless plot and the obnoxious tutorial stuff. Of course if you don’t like this stuff the inclusion of a few Star Wars characters probably won’t change your mind.