Pig & Dragon is a free cute Match-3 puzzle game from CookApps that published social games like Diggle. As the title suggests, the game wraps the conventional match-3 mechanics with a simple story of fighting pigs to prevent them from stealing food fed to dragons. Without much complexity, the free and fun match-3 gameplay starts.
Pig & Dragon features the similar setup of most match-three puzzle games. Match at least three blocks of the same color to pop them into the mouth of baby dragons and fill the dragon bar to the full to unleash powerful bonuses facilitating the completion of the level objectives. In-game level goals are mainly of two types: collect certain points and match required number of specific ingredients (the blocks on the board).
While every level plays differently due to the board shape and random arrange of blocks but invariably revolve the two types of objectives. Similarly, the special tiles, various boost items and diverse obstacles are designed around the multiplier bonus. By making good matches such as five in a row or in an L or T shape, you create special powerful tiles that don’t clear a row/column or explode to clear an area of blocks but simply add extra points or multipliers to blocks in a row and column. And some power-ups you can purchase directly for coins also work the same way to help achieve the game goal; so do the obstacle-like blocks on the board.
With regards to obstacles or equally functional designs on the board, you will unlock a new major design on every map consisting of 10 levels such as flower petals wrapping blocks that change randomly with each match inside and water buckets that spray water to adjacent blocks to bestow bonus points. Once you enter a new map you get a new overarching obstacle block for the next 10 stages to the catalog, though those unlocked earlier also show up in different levels.
The last node of every map is slightly different from the previous in that you also deal with stealing pigs while trying to complete the level goal. That doesn’t change the game play much but rather adds extra trouble. Just match tiles next to the pig – that will make pigs dizzy and motionless for a while.
As usual power-up items are indispensable elements in the game as they do in almost all match-3 puzzlers. You will unlock Watering, Breath, Spoon, Straw and so on as you make through to higher levels and can buy and use these items in suitable occasions to gain boosts with additional points or collection or clearing. With progression, you also gain new dragons of different colors and can feed them from newly-born to maturity.
To conclude, Pig & Dragon is simple and fun with considerable challenge stored in high levels. Adorable graphics, check; lighthearted background music, check; and tons of levels expanded regularly, check. All these make a solid, though not really fresh, experience. Overall, it’s a game fun for both short bursts of play and long marathon-style immersion.