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What do doctors offices, grocery stores, and airports have in common? Yep, they're all places where you wait … and wait. Of course, they're also places that are just perfect for playing a quick game or three on your iPhone. Match-three puzzles are by far one of the most popular types of games on any mobile device. As long as people have been playing games on their phone, they've had some form of this quick match 'em and win entertainment to master.
For years, the top puzzle games has been Bejeweled, but the market for match-three games is fierce and the competition gets better every day. We've rounded up the hottest match-three puzzles currently available for the iPhone and iPod touch devices. So, the next time your waiting around instead of playing yet another game of Bejeweled, download one of these amazing new spins on a very popular oldie-but-goodie.
We like 'em all so, in no particular order, here are the 5 most amazing match-three puzzles to play instead of Bejeweled :
Our first two picks for must-have match-three apps do something new and unusual for the genre: these two games blur the line between the RPG genre and the match-three or puzzle genre.
In chronoSgear, gameplay is essentially a match-three puzzle, but at the same time there's a backstory that's not like a Japanese manga. You fight different foes, have the option to run, and you complete tasks for a dangerous gang. In essence, chronoSgear takes the best of the match-three genre and the best of the RPG genre and blends them together into one very fun app.
Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night
Ever since old-school Nintendo, the Castlevania franchise has been winning fans all over the globe. This Castlevania-themed match-three game is the first Castlevania game for the iPhone and iPad. Imagine something like Tetris set inside the context of a Castlevania plot. Although it's not exactly the same as the original Castlevania, you still collect items, equipment, spells, and honors as you advance through the different levels.
Our next three match-three puzzles are more traditional, but each still adds a unique twist to the concept.
In SteamBalls, you try to match at least three balls in horizontal rows, but there's a twist. The more balls you add to a column, the more the position of the balls lifts as you "weigh it down". In other words, you have to strategize not just where the balls are, but you have to take into account the weight you add to any given column. As a result, the board in SteamBalls is constantly on the move as you add and take away the balls, making it more challenging than your average match-three puzzle game.
If you like Bejeweled, you'll love Babo Crash. Essentially, Babo Crash takes the Bejeweled concept and adds several other elements that make Babo Crash, in the words of one reviewer at the App Store, "like Bejeweled on stereoids." As you match similar jewels, you create "superheroes" that come onto the screen and clear multiple pieces away for you. However, if you're not careful you can also create strong enemies that interfere with your strategies and lose points for you, so you have to be on the ball and stay sharp to prevent these enemies from taking over your screen.
In Booooly !, you match three or four colored faces together to move them off your screen. Move fast, though: new rows of boooolies are added every few seconds, and if they reach the line on the top of the screen, you'll die. However, what really sets Boooly! apart from other match-three games is the multiplayer mode. With wifi or bluetooth, you can go head-to-head with a friend. As you match four boooolies together, it takes them off your screen and puts them onto your opponent's screen.
All in all, you'll love these five match-three games, and you'll never have to sit bored in a waiting room again.