Where Puzzle & Dragons differentiates itself is the action on the top half of the screen. There your party of monsters does battle, their attacks dictated by the combos you pull off below. Playing well means manipulating the entire board with serpentine swipes, stacking the field in your favor to unleash epic offensive combos. Defeat bosses, earn new monsters, upgrade your party, spend real money on in-app purchases. These are the ingredients of mobile-gaming obsession.
P&D put developer GungHo Online Entertainment on the map in Japan.
GungHo has expanded since then. Puzzle & Dragons was created by a team of six developers, led by the company’s founder and CEO, Kazuki Morishita. Now GungHo employs hundreds, with offices in Tokyo and L.A. and multiple subsidiaries, including the well-known game developer Grasshopper Manufacture.