Mario is certainly no stranger to puzzle games, but that doesn't make his pairing with Japanese megahit Puzzle & Dragons any less unexpected, what with Pokémon being available and all. But after going a few rounds with Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition last week, I have to say that I'm intrigued by Nintendo's latest collaboration.
First announced back in early January, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is an adaptation of GungHo Entertainment's mobile puzzle game, which mates Shin Megami Tensei-like monster collection and dungeon crawling with match-three gameplay. As expected, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition swaps the original's dragons for characters from the Mario franchise, including the brothers themselves.
Rather than diving into dungeons, though, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition plays out somewhat like the more recent New Super Mario Bros. games. Navigation is accomplished via the familiar overworld map, at the end of which awaits one of the Koopalings. Stages consist of a series of encounters with Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and other familiar Mario Bros. enemies, all of whom have their own strengths and weaknesses.