I’ve been into match 3 games for a while now, and I’ve probably been playing them since only a couple years after my birth. I’m talking 2006 and onwards. There was a golden age of match 3s in the 2000s that I don’t see anyone talk about.
Super Collapse 2 in 2002, Super Glinx in 2002, Super Nisqually in 2002, Cubis 2 in 2004, Bejeweled 2 in 2004, Collapse Crunch in 2004, Bounce Out Blitz in 2004, Chuzzle in 2005, Super Collapse 3 in 2006, Bejeweled Twist in 2008, Super Collapse 4 in 2009 (known as Collapse!), Bejeweled 3 in 2010.
These were the games of my childhood! These are the classics that make me so fond of the genre and it’s sad to see it ruined with mobile games like Candy Crush, Gardenscapes, and Bejeweled Stars, but more on that later.
The Super Collapse series was all about clicking groups of same colored squares that rose from the bottom. 2 was all about infinite play, but 3 and 4 had quest modes that are filled with levels and powerups. I never finished 4, but 3’s final level is honestly one of the hardest videogame experiences I’ve had to date. I highly reccomend taking on the challenge, you'll end up surprised.
The Super Collapse series can be found on TFGD in the form of the Super Collapse Super Pack.
The Bejeweled series is classic match 3: line up the gems in groups of 3 or more. 2, Twist, and 3 all have infinite modes and quest modes, with varying goals in each. It's as simple as it gets and yet I've probably spend hours upon hours on them. There's not much else to mention, they're all solid experiences and I'm not giving the series nearly the recognition it deserves here.
The problem arises in 2012, when King.com said "hey! let's cash grab!" and made Candy Crush Saga. In gameplay, it's perfectly fine. However, the amount of ads and IAPs they push is ridiculous, and this became a very popular form of game when it came to making money. Bejeweled got it's own entry in this, namely Bejeweled Stars, which is about what you expect, except the game just doesn't run very well.
The good thing is that there's new ones coming out that are good. Lumimes Remastered in 2018, Chuzzle 2 in 2018, CROSSNIQ+ in 2019, Collapsus in... probably 2020. And, of course, the fanmade game Dijeweled, made by the great friends at the Bejeweled Discord. There's still good stuff, just not quite popular.
I wish I could write more on the subject, but I'd have to delve into each game seperately, and that's not quite something I want to do here. I will absolutely write more on this topic.
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