Match-Three Game

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A Casual Video Game sub-genre that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The object is to match three objects of similar color/shape/species to eliminate said objects from the playing field. Specific objectives vary from game to game, but include:
  • Play until you run out of time or space.
  • Match a certain amount of Object X to advance
  • Rack up a certain amount of points to advance

In competitive examples, where players compete against the computer or other players on a split screen, making a match may result in a few garbage blocks, which can be eliminated only by matching other objects connected to them, dropping onto the opponent's field; combos will increase the number of garbage blocks. Games may also throw other special blocks onto the field, such as power ups, obstacles (like garbage, but indestructible) and other bonuses. You can also — again, depending on the game — get bonus points and/or helpful effects by matching four or more objects.

Match Three Games came about during the heyday of the 1990s handhelds — specifically with the advent of Columns for the Sega Game Gear. With the boom in Casual Games, the genre has similarly expanded.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Falling pieces 
The player must control each piece as it falls from the top of the screen, moving it around and usually rotating it or shifting parts of the piece. A few have pieces arrive from some other direction, but the principle is the same.
  • Columns (1989; the Ur-Example)
  • Klax (1989; possibly tied for Ur-Example) - the challenge, as well as certain staged, tended to need complex formations for big points or by making other tiles fall into scoring positions.
  • Dr. Mario (match four)
  • Lumines (match a 2x2 square)
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II
  • Puyo Puyo (match four)
  • Taisen Puzzle Dama and its numerous sequels and themed Spin Offs:
    • Susume! Taisen Puzzle Dama
    • Twinbee Taisen Puzzle Dama
    • Tokimeki Memorial Taisen Puzzle Dama and Tokimeki Memorial 2 Taisen Puzzle Dama
    • Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai Taisen Puzzle-Dama
    • Chibi Maruko-chan Taisen Puzzle Dama
    • Pop'n Taisen Puzzle Dama Online
  • Tetris 2 (can best be described as Dr. Mario with Tetris pieces)
  • Yoshi (match two)
  • Critical Mass has you manually place the blocks on a cube that gradually expands, but the spirit is the same.
  • Blastris B, one of the six games sold with the Super Scope.
  • Bomberman: Panic Bomber
  • Hatris (match five)
  • Tidalis has you match disconnected blocks using "streams".
  • ''Hebereke's Popoon''
  • Baku Baku Animal (match animals with their Stock Animal Diet)
  • Teki Paki (match five in any configuration)
  • Oh My God!
  • Kirby's Star Stacker (match two)
  • Battle Balls (match four)

    Swapping pieces 
The player has to swap two or more pieces. As blocks are cleared, the field is replenished with more pieces, either immediately after they're cleared or continuously from some source.
  • Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwa Mochi (match four)
  • Bejeweled (Trope Codifier, what a lot of people think is the Ur-Example). The first ever was called Shariki, developed by Russian programmer Eugene Alemzhin for DOS in 1994.
  • Big Kahuna Reef
  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Cradle of Rome
  • King Games' Saga series: Candy Crush Saga, its sequels Candy Crush Soda Saga and Candy Crush Jelly Saga, and sister/spin-off titles, Farm Heroes Saga and Pepper Panic Saga.
  • Disney Emoji Blitz features famous Disney and Pixar characters and items in emoji form. Its main draw is that it comes with a free mobile keyboard that allows players to use the emojis in their favorite messaging apps, but the emojis have to be unlocked by playing the game itself.
  • Elemental Story
  • Gems of War
  • Gunspell, which is an Urban Fantasy RPG where you match gems to get Mana (of three different colors) to power up your gear, green celtic crosses to heal, or skulls made out of precious metals to directly damage an enemy.
  • Gyromancer, which was co-developed by the same people as Bejeweled and is basically a hybrid of that and a Role-Playing Game.
  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure
  • Hexic
  • HuniePop, a Dating Sim which uses the puzzles to advance relationships with the girls.
  • Jewel of Atlantis
  • Jewel Quest
  • Knightfall: In the first game, three is the minimal amount of same-color blocks that can be eliminated. When there are no combinations left, the game lets you switch blocks around. In the second game, blocks can be eliminated in pairs and individually, but doing so consumes you AP at double and triple rates.
  • Legend of Fae, a hybrid of this and a simple side-scrolling RPG
  • Mixels: Mix Your Neighbor plays for a variation, where matching one of each colored tribe gives a Max tile that clears vertical and horizontal, along with special "Mix" goals that give extra points if the two specified Mixels are placed next to each other. Each level has a special goal, such as a certain point amount in an allotted time or a specific amount of Mixes and Maxes obtained.
  • Megapanel
  • Panel de Pon, a.k.a. Tetris Attack
  • Pokemon Battle Trozei, a sequel to Pokémon Trozei! but removing the falling mechanic. Also, it has nothing in common with Puzzle League which is a simple Panel de Pon reskin.
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords
    • Puzzle Quest: Galaxtrix
    • Puzzle Kingdom
    • Puzzle Chronicles
    • Puzzle Quest 2
  • Sally's Quick Clips is a combination of piece-swapping Match Three and a Time Management Game.
  • Taisen Tokkae Dama, the "swapping pieces" sister series of Taisen Puzzle Dama
  • Yoshi's Cookie (match five)
  • Yes Chef
  • Zoo Keeper

     Swapping and Falling 
The player has to swap two or more pieces. However, blocks also come down from the top of the screen at the same time. There is limited control in where and how falling pieces will land.
  • Meteos
  • Pokémon Trozei! (match four; a hard mode requires the player to match five)
  • Tetrisphere has the player shift around and drop pieces in order to clear them.

     Launching pieces 
The player chooses the direction or location each piece will go before it starts moving. Once a piece is in motion, it is out of the player's control.

    Other 
The mechanics in these games don't fit in any category above or are unique.
  • 2048 is a match two game where the player uses the arrows to shift gravity and make two similar tiles merge together to get a tile of double the value.
  • Chromashift, which uses a relatively unique game mechanic, in that you change the color of the gems, instead of moving the gem positions. [1].
  • Similar to Klax is Audiosurf, which combined the concept with levels generated from your music files.
  • Puzzle & Dragons: You touch and drag a piece, and the piece can go anywhere at all, shifting other pieces behind it as it goes. Any pieces that are eliminated get filled with new pieces. You only have a few seconds to shift it around and line up three before it counts as a turn.
  • Wrecking Crew '98: Each row of panels can be shifted, though unwanted panels can usually be demolished individually.
  • Triple Town: the player places objects on a field, combining them to make other objects. Three grasses make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees make a house, and so on until the board is full.
  • Two games in the With Friends line:
    • In Matching With Friends you drag and drop pieces onto the board to match three or more of a color to be removed from the board.
    • In Gems With Friends, you drag and drop individual gems onto the board; once three or more match a color, they condense to form one gem of the next higher number.
  • Tic Tac Toe (Noughts and Crosses) might be the simplest match-three game. Two players. The first to get three X's or O's in a row, column, or diagonal is the winner.
  • The game show Three on a Match had contestants attempting to match either prizes or images (depending on when in the run it was) on a large 4x3 game board, using money earned from answering questions to uncover boxes.

    Uncategorized 
  • Bounce Out!
  • Chuzzle
  • Fruit Smash and its seasonal sequel, Trick or Treat Smash
  • Glissaria (match five)
  • Mariposa
  • Molesting the Match-3 Market
  • Puzznic (match two)
  • Tip Top
  • The Bilge Pumping and Rumble games in Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates. The Sailing game also has a match-four mechanic, but it's not the primary goal.
    • The developers at Three Rings really like these; the Foraging and Treasure Haul games are also Match Three.
  • As an April Fools' Day joke, Kongregate featured a Match One game.
  • Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest. Really.
  • Alphacat combines this with Turn-Based Combat. The more matching tiles you draw a line through, the more effective your attack is.


Alternative Title(s): Match Four Game

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