Match 3 - Move or launch objects on a grid to match 3 or more. Simple and popular.

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Most Popular Match 3 Games

Candy Crush Saga

Crush Matching Candies Together with Ruthless Efficiency!

Bejeweled 3

Match three or more gems with this addicting and engaging puzzle game!

Pet Rescue Saga

Rescue the Pets in This Addictive Puzzle Adventure!

Zuma Deluxe

Dive Into Mayan Temples and Stop the Line of Colored Balls With Your Frog Shooter!

Bejeweled 2 Deluxe

Possibly the Greatest Puzzle Game Ever Created!

Puzzle & Dragons

Use Your Puzzle-Solving Skills to Win Battles within the Darkest of Dungeons!

Bubble Mania

Free Your Friends by Matching and Popping All the Bubbles You See.

Bejeweled Blitz

Match Gems Together at Lightning-Fast Speed!

Jewel Match 3

Enjoy a jewel matching frenzy in this visually stunning, fast paced game!

7 Wonders: Magical Mystery Tour

Build the Mysterious Wonders of Antiquity!

7 Wonders of the World

Build the Seven wonders of the World by advancing through 49 challenging Match 3 levels!

Big Kahuna Reef

Match Cool Undersea Shapes to Fill in the Game Board!

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All Match 3 Games

  • 10.0 = DFG Review Score

  • NA = Not Reviewed Yet

  • New! = Games listed in the last 30 days

  • Mobile = Mobile Games

Score Game
NA

A Breathtaking Brain-Bender!

NA

Assist a young heroine setting up a successful new airport in a 100 Days without delays

NA

A fun Match 3 with a mystery story and novel challenges! Find out more in 10th Corpse

NA

Collect 3 pieces of fruit in a row, vanquish the fog monsters, and bring a love tale to a close!

NA

Unscramble the Book of Magic and set the fairies free!

NA

4Blox is a complex arcade puzzle game that is simple to pick up but difficult to master!

NA

Exciting Match 3 adventure! Create your successful Miami mega resort! In 5 Star Miami Resort

NA

Create a 5-Star holiday paradise!

NA

Build the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.

NA

Build the mysterious wonders of antiquity!

NA

An enchanting Match-3 and Hidden Object bundle!

NA

Join Raymond on his latest journey into the past! In Academy of Magic 4: A New Beginning

NA

Help Dennis and his friends against the dark forces of The Great Dark Wizard.

NA

Join Dennis and his friends to save a kidnapped student from a monstrous beast.

NA

Join Dennis in breaking the curse! Save the Academy of Magic from The Great Dark Wizards Curse

NA

Save the Princess from the Evil Spirts in Adventure Match

NA

Make Match-3 Combinations to bring water to the magic flasks! In this match-3 spectacular!

NA

Be a hero and save the day in this incredible adventure!

NA

Activate the teleporter and save your uncle!

NA

Help Allura and Glenn to bring peace between the kingdoms in Allura 2 - The Three Realms.

NA

Can you save a magical realm by restoring the pages of a magic book?

NA

Join Amanda to restore the world of the book! In Amanda's Magic Book 2

NA

Help Amanda to save her grandfather in Amanda's Magic Book 3 - The Spirit World

NA

Help Amanda create five award-winning sticker books

NA

Dip into a world of puzzle delights, treasures, and adventures!

NA

Become the hero of Egypt! Stop the wicked schemes of an evil pharaoh before your city is annihilated

NA

Play through more than 100 levels and earn enough gold to fully decorate the Tomb of the Pharaoh

NA

Quest for the Ceremonial Kila in this fun Match-3!

NA

For many years, the lands of Angkor have been suffering from a curse. Will you be the one to end it?

7.0

Angry Birds Blast   Mobile

Join the Angry Birds in a Balloon-Popping, Pig-Crushing and Brain-Bending adventure!

NA

Travel the world from Africa to the Arctic, collecting nature photos in a match-3 safari adventure!

NA

Solve Match-3 puzzles in totally new ways.

NA

Mystery awaits in this Match-3 puzzle adventure!

NA

Dive into an ocean environment with Aqua Marbles: Ocean.

NA

After arriving in Arabia, you find a Genie who wants to help you seek your riches.

NA

Help Yeti Teddi find his lost friend! In Arctic Story!

NA

Adventure around the globe in this Jules Verne classic tale!

NA

Complete your father's quest!

NA

Collect ancient treasures!

NA

A deep sea puzzles and Match 3 adventure!

7.0

Battle Camp   Mobile

Hatch, raise and train monsters in this unique MMORPG game!

8.5

The best version of the best puzzle game ever created!

9.0

Awesome Bejeweled fun with new ways to play.

9.0

Bejeweled Blitz   Mobile

Match gems and gain points in this colorful and explosive game!

NA

Addictive gem matching game. Popular!

NA

Spend hours matching and exploding gems!

NA

Solve the puzzles and earn points to add fish to your reef!

NA

Build your virtual aquarium with more match 3 fun!

9.0

BirdsIsle   Mobile

Solve match-3 levels to make Birds Isle a better place for life.

NA

Get ready for the greatest Halloween adventure!

NA

Bubble Mania   Mobile

Free your friends by popping all the bubbles you see

9.0

Bubble Town   Mobile

It's multiplayer bubble popper mayhem in Bubble Town! Go head-to-head with players around the globe.

NA

Save Borb Bay from calamity!

NA

It's a jungle out there...let's get poppin!

NA

A breathtaking match-3 game with innovative mechanics!

8.0

Travel the globe, retrieve magical gems, and save Atlantis!

NA

The calendar of ages has been destroyed, you must travel in time to save the world!

7.0

Match candies together and watch them explode once more!

8.0

Candy Crush Saga   Mobile

Crush Matching Candies Together with Ruthless Efficiency!

7.5

The sequel to Candy Crush Saga with over 300 new puzzles!

NA

Help the youthful and fearless Catana to combat the deadly vegetables!

NA

Join Catherine on a dangerous island for a new adventure! In Catherine Ragnor and the Cursed Island

NA

Join Catherine Ragnor in her quest for the three mythical riches with the Flying Dutchman.

NA

Assist Catherine Ragnor in her quest for revenge on Blackbeard by gathering allies and power.

NA

Explore Cave Quest 2 CE an exciting adventure with match-3 puzzles in a mysterious cave city!

NA

Match links to clear the board. Challenging and unique.

NA

Create a romantic chateau garden for the princess!

NA

Prepare the town for Christmas!

NA

Alarm! All the candies are stolen! Only you can you help save Christmas! In Christmas Story

8.5

Save the cute and fuzzy chuzzles in this match 3 game.

NA

Match birds to reach a legendary artifact!

NA

Pass the multiple levels of the game gathering the balls of the same color in ClearIt 11

NA

Are you ready for a challenge? Can you clear all 230 levels in ClearIt 12?

NA

Pass through the game's many stages, collecting balls of the same colour in ClearIt 13

NA

Pass the multiple levels of the game gathering the balls of the same color in Clear It 9

NA

Construct a great civilization!

NA

Experience the grandeur of the ancient civilization!

NA

Build up the great city of ancient Rome one building at a time!

NA

Etch your name upon history as the ruler of Rome!

NA

A long time ago, in the vastness of space, there existed only two elements - Fire and Water...

NA

Challenging heroic match-3 game!

NA

Assist Tristan in building his empire and making it the finest on Earth! In Crystal of Atlantis

NA

Help the Creatures awaken from their magical slumber in this unique 3D Match-3 game!

9.0

Cubis for Cash   Mobile

Match the cubes, earn high scores and rake in cash prizes in this addictive multiplayer puzzle game.

NA

Better than the original! More 3D cube matching fun!

9.0

Cubis Kingdoms   Mobile

Use your puzzle-solving abilities to save the cursed land.

NA

Make matches. Collect elements. Save the world!

NA

Return once more to dispatch wicked spirits! In Cursed House 10

NA

Charge the ancient amulet and cleanse the house of evil!

NA

Banish evil spirits!

NA

Banish evil spirits!

NA

This town was cursed and has been a haven of evil spirits! Charge the ancient amulet and cleanse it!

NA

Banish evil spirits! In Cursed House 7

NA

Banish the spirits once and for all in Cursed House 8

NA

Help to cleanse a domain of evil spirits in Cursed House 9

NA

Arrange a wedding out of this world!

8.0

Diamond Digger Saga   Mobile

Unearth gems and more in this out-of-this-world puzzle adventure

NA

Pass the multiple levels of the game. Assemble crystals of the same color into chains.

NA

Time to go back and Dig the Ground again in the part 6 of the popular series!

7.0

Disney Emoji Blitz   Mobile

Disney Emoji Blitz makes for some simple and adorable entertainment!

NA

An action packed math-3 bundle!

NA

A Unique Match-3 Experience!

NA

A Powerful Match-3 Experience!

NA

Lead the Avenger to face ruthless foes and complete a quest for justice!

NA

Fight the robot troops that are crushing the land in this thrilling match-three steampunk adventure!

NA

Escape the witch's kingdom!

NA

The most delectable match-3 puzzle game!

NA

From the sandy beaches to dangerous caves, this is the enchanting place also known as Emeraldium

8.0

Defeat evil with your army of puzzle-solving warriors.

NA

Get two epic Match-3 games in this double pack!

NA

Help Evy save the magic kingdom in puzzle duels!

NA

Protect the king and defeat Malefisto in Ezaron Chronicles

8.5

Release captive fairies in a magical land!

NA

Escape into the fairy realm!

NA

Help Ruby and her friends rebuild their home!

NA

The Penguins got an invitation to visit Santa. Discover what new puzzles has he in store for you

NA

The fairy realm is in dire need of your help!

NA

Save the fairy realm in this exciting Match 3 game!

7.0

Farm Heroes Saga   Mobile

Play Farm Heroes Saga and put your matching skills to the test!

NA

Reclaim your aunt's farm alongside a cast of colorful characters

NA

Can you adjust to life on the farm?

8.0

Solve puzzles and create your dream aquarium!

NA

Progress through match-3 levels and create your harvest tank!

NA

Get splashed with frosty fun!

NA

Journey into the deep with Beatrice in this spooktacular quest. In FishWitch Halloween

NA

Flipon is a juicy and fun action puzzle game full of surprises!

NA

forge of Glory   Mobile

Forge of Glory is a puzzle-RPG with PVP and PVE elements.

NA

An Exciting Travelogue Match3 New York Adventure Game

NA

Enjoy an exciting Match 3 Italian Adventure!

NA

Imagine your zen garden...hand-crafted!

NA

Plunge into an exciting adventure full of mystery and danger!

NA

An exciting match-3 twist!

NA

Help Morgan to solve the mysterys of London in Gaslamp Cases - The Deadly Machine

NA

Help Morgan to solve the mysteries in a small village in Gaslamp Cases 2: The Haunted Village

NA

Help Detectives Morgan Johnson and Jack Brown once again in Gaslamp Cases 3: Ancient Secrets

NA

Assist Morgan Johnson and Jack Brown with their new mystery case in a cursed village!

NA

Rescue a family of magic creatures in this adventure with lot of fun levels and features!

NA

Find the treasure of the ancient Aztecs!

NA

Save Tommy from the angry witch!

NA

Dig into prospector Jack's tale and find out whether you're worthy of his secret treasure!

NA

The Greatest match-3 bundle ever assembled!

NA

It's back! The Greatest match-3 bundle ever assembled!

NA

Dive into a Halloween atmosphere with Halloween Marbles.

NA

Its Halloween and Annie's kids have vanished. Help Annie return home to celebrate Halloween

NA

Save Granny's Halloween in this fun Match-3!

NA

Assist Jane in getting her house ready for Halloween in Halloween Trouble 3

NA

Can you complete the spooky quest in time?

NA

A very hot match 3 game!

NA

Follow Helga's journey and assist her in finding friends to defeat all of her foes!

NA

Recruit the help of the Gods as you rebuild Athens!

NA

Join with the Greek Gods to bring peace to an ancient world! In Heroes of Hellas Origins: Part One

NA

Reveal all the secrets and intrigues in the Copperset Kingdom! In Hiddenverse - Kingdom Fall

NA

Stop Ariadna in her quest to unite all the worlds in Hiddenverse: Ariadna Dreaming!

NA

Help Ariadna find her inner power to unite the worlds. As she is the only one who can save them!

NA

Embark on a farming adventure in Hope's Farm.

NA

An innovative game set in a fascinating underground world!

NA

Let love rule in this marvelous match-3 game!

NA

A snowy twist on match 3

NA

Help Emperor Omadan build a new Empire.

NA

Help Emperor Omadan build a new Empire.

NA

Save the Maharaja's Garden from its curse!

NA

The services of a master architect are greatly needed!

NA

Return to a mesmerizing match-three wonderland!

NA

Enjoy a jewel matching frenzy in this fast-paced game!

NA

Dive into a magical Match-3 universe under the sea. In Jewel Match Aquascapes Collector's Edition

NA

Welcome to a land of such beauty! Play Match 3 and restore the beautiful landscapes of the kingdom!

NA

Help aspiring architect Daniel build a stately palace in this match-3 adventure!

Score Game
8.5

Match gems and reunite with your childhood love!

NA

Unravel a creepy-crawly match-3 adventure!

NA

Send shivers down your spine... with this creepy-crawly Match-3 quest!

NA

Align holiday jewels to break their frozen boxes

8.0

Jewel Quest   Mobile

The classic match-3 adventure with over 200 new levels!

7.5

Puzzle solving with a great adventure story.

6.5

Jewel Quest for Cash is a familiar match-3, but you play for money.

NA

Help Rupert recover the Golden Jewel Board!

NA

Play other Jewel Quest fans from around the world!

8.5

The ultimate Jewel-matching adventure is hitting the high seas

NA

The famous jewel adventurers, Rupert and Emma are back!

NA

Travel the world playing solitaire and match 3 games!

NA

Discover the secret behind the elusive Sapphire Dragon!

NA

Embark on a perilous quest to find the sleepless star!

NA

Justice awaits you! Match jewels to bring back your inheritance.

NA

String together chains of chips vertically, horizontally or diagonally in this new match-3 game!

8.0

Juice Jam   Mobile

Make drinks and battle bosses in Juice Jam!

NA

Help Sam solve the mystery of the poisoned dagger and rescue the Princess

NA

Help to recover the Sun from Merlin's Castle in Laruaville 10

NA

Help the valiant Viking who perished in battle in Laruaville 11

NA

Assist the Ghosts in re-creating the Wild West in all its grandeur!

NA

Help the ghosts recreate the seasons!

NA

Help the friendly ghosts celebrate Christmas!

NA

Shipwrecked on an uninhabited island!

NA

Turn stones into Gold! In Laruaville 8 the next game in the Laruaville Series.

NA

Help Spiritus I rebuild a town in Laruaville9

NA

Help the friendly ghosts of Laruaville find a new home!

NA

Build a magnificent city and free the Pharaoh from the clutches of the mystical creature.

NA

Travel back in time into the world of ancient Egypt and construct a magical city!

NA

Secrets surround the mystical Incan People. Find out in Legend of Incas - Mystical Culture

NA

Experience a challenging match 3 game and appease Mars the god of war! Build and restore the city.

NA

Build a Garden, even more beautiful than before, on the edge of the Nile for Pharaoh's daughter!

NA

Join Lily on her epic quest for the ultimate treasures, fame, and glory!

NA

Embrace the spooky world in this cool match 3 experience In Little Witchella - Pumpkin Peril

NA

Pirates, treasure and adventure in Lost Bounty!

NA

Restore the deep sea city where dragons and humans once lived.

NA

Complete match-3 levels and find a lost civilization!

NA

Smith and Andy decide to get back to the case in Macabre Ring: Mysterious Puppeteer

NA

Move and match bottle caps and find the fun secrets underneath!

NA

Outwit Imhotep and free the magic creatures!

NA

Ellya's kingdom must be saved! In Magic Odyssey

NA

Go on a trip with travel agency "Magica" to Las Vegas.

NA

Release Fogmere from an evil ruler before it is too late!

NA

An unique match-three, turned-based battle game with epic plot and beautiful graphics

NA

Your son Bobby has been captured by... Pirates. You must save him!!!

NA

It time to once again combine the Match 3 and Marble Popper genres in Match Marbles 2

NA

Restore the greatness of a gorgeous mansion, using a power of stars!

NA

Explore the dungeons of Cliffmont Castle.

NA

Unravel the secrets of Cliffmont Castle in this enchanted match-3 journey!

NA

Set off on a thrilling match-3 castle mystery adventure! In MatchVentures 3

NA

Explore a medieval themed fantasy world match 3 game!

NA

Help Amy decorate the house for Christmas in the new game - Merry Christmas: Deck the halls.

NA

We invite you to join the Great Shaman in a quest to explore a kaleidoscope of worlds.

NA

We invite you to join the Great Shaman in a quest to explore a kaleidoscope of worlds!

NA

Help Carol solve a dark mystery to find her husband! In Murder by Moonlight: Call of the Wolf

NA

Help Elliot Moore to solve the unusual case in Murder by Moonlight - Crimson Night

NA

Discover fruits and vegtables for your stall and conquer the World's market in this Match 3 game.

NA

Get ready to embark on this epic Match-3 adventure!

NA

Help Alrik and Tenebria save the world in Mystika 4 : Dark Omens

NA

Get Neverland treasure and enjoy superb match-3 puzzle with the popular characters!

NA

Help Keeper find his kidnapped owl pupils!

NA

Painting has never been easier! Just relax and enjoy! In Paint by Numbers

NA

Find all the best parts of classic board games in one place!

7.5

Pet Rescue Saga   Mobile

Rescue the pets in this addictive puzzle adventure!

NA

Battle colorful cute viruses with the medical pills to make them pop! In PillPop

NA

Yar! Ye'll be playin' like a pirate with this here super pack!

NA

A new colony is appearing in Popper Lands!

NA

Don't let a pretty beast fool you!

NA

Puzzle & Dragons   Mobile

Use your puzzle-solving skills to win dungeon battles!

7.5

Help a young girl rescue her brother from the ghost lord!

9.0

An epic match 3 puzzle & RPG challenge!

NA

A marble matching experience you won't forget!

NA

The sweetest sakura season garden ever!

NA

It's Halloween time and the Queen has decided to celebrate!

NA

Rescue the magical kingdom in this exciting Match-3 adventure!

NA

Collect rainbow dust to defeat the wicked spider!

NA

A fun, lighthearted match-3 game!

NA

Treasure hunt with Ricky Raccoon!

NA

Ricky Raccoon's 2nd big adventure!

NA

Help restore the ancient city of dwarves.

NA

Help the dwarf restore his home! In Rune Stones Quest 3

NA

Embark on an epic match-3 journey across the kingdom! In Runefall 2 - Collector's Edition

NA

Help zoologist Erwin save the animals of the Serengeti!

NA

Start your journey through the wonders of Chirstmas. In Santa's Holiday

NA

Fight with Lucifer and restore the Stone of the Dead to stop the threat of the evil spirits.

NA

Restore the Stone of the Dead!

NA

Save the Planet from the Multi-coloured Alien Invasion!

NA

Escape into match-3 and with these 5 fantastic games!

NA

Dive into an autumn atmosphere with Season Marbles: Autumn.

NA

Dive into a summer atmosphere with Season Marbles: Summer.

NA

Dive into a winter atmosphere with Season Marbles: Winter.

NA

Collect magical artifacts and save the fairytale kingdom!

NA

All three Season Match games in one awesome bundle!

NA

Victoria needs your help to master the art of witchcraft!

NA

Match your way through a magical and dangerous land.

NA

Help Victoria make the best Halloween display ever

NA

An exciting Halloween adventure awaits you, hop on board! In Secrets of Magic 4: Potion Master

NA

Assist the Walkers with the school theatre! In Shopping Clutter 10: The Walkers Take the Stage

NA

Silver Tale takes Match-3 to the next level!

8.5

Create the world's best zoo! Fun blend of sim and match 3.

NA

Don't miss our on a long awaited vacation!

NA

Help snails find their disappeared friend!

NA

Help Sophia make start a successful pizza restaurant!

NA

A powerful artifact has gone missing and the world is slowly decaying now!

NA

The Dark Spirits have gone out of the control and a great war with the Dark Spirits has begun.

NA

Save the Crystal from doom in Spellarium 5

NA

Help Eric whilst the Gods are on vacation in Spellarium 6

NA

Spellarium 7 has a brand-new tale and gaming mechanics that you've never seen before

NA

Dig into this deep match-3 expedition! Take a dive underground and search for lost treasure!

NA

Go medieval with Storm Tale 2 - help the wizard Griffri to rebuild a once prosperous village.

NA

Assist Tim the cat in defeating the woodland witch! In Suddenly Meow

NA

Help Tim save the fairies and restore peace to the forest! In Suddenly Meow 2

NA

Sweets are banned in the USA! Start a Revolt!

NA

Sumico is a challenging new match-3 game played with numbers!

NA

Cool down with this eclectic mix of hot summer themed games!

7.0

Tetris style game play with fantastic sparkling gems!

NA

Travel to the cloud lands and help deliver mail!

NA

Defend your city from the monsters of the Underworld in Tales of Rome - Grand Empire

NA

Take a journey beyond the edge of the world!

NA

Help Veronica Wright find the Lost Tomb!

NA

Step into the shoes of Confucius and learn more about this man whose teachings live on to this very

NA

Join Hercules adventure to defend Olympus! In The Chronicles of Hercules II: Wrath of Kronos

NA

Can Hercules overcome his labours and take his place among the gods?

NA

Join Arthur's rebellion against the false king! Expereince his heroic and adventurous stories!

NA

Lend aid to King Arthur as he sets out to defeat the Saxons and restore peace to the land...

NA

Enjoy an Epic and adventurous match-3 game! In The Chronicles of Moses and the Exodus

NA

Noah receives a seemingly impossible task!

NA

Help Robin Hood and the Merry Men in their quest to take down the Sheriff of Nottingham!

NA

Challenging fantasy match-3 game!

NA

Join Princess Miriel's to fight Darksoul in The Enthralling Realms: Knights and Orcs

NA
NA

Join Ellia's adventure to find Astral Crystal and save her friend.

NA

Joining Stella and friends adventures to save the elf kingdom in The Witch and The Elven Princess.

NA

Solve the dark mystery surrounding the legendary Forgotten Land!

NA

Help Aurora and Eratus in their fight to overthrow the tyrant and restore peace to the land.

NA

Is this real or just a nightmare?

NA

Help Noah survive the flood in The New Chronicles of Noah's Ark

NA

Become the hero of Ancient Greece!

NA

Collect the seven powers of Poseidon and raise Atlantis!

NA

Match, blow up or shock the ancient Aztec tokens!

NA

Search for untold treasure deep within an ancient temple!

NA

Help fallen god Angelo prove his worth to Olympus!

NA

Help Angelo fulfill the Grecian king's order and marry his true love!

NA

The epic conclusion to The Trials of Olympus trilogy!

NA

Help Aurora make the world better with her chants!

NA

Tisnart Shapes delivers an exciting unique take on the familiar match game styles

NA

Tisnart Tiles takes you beyond the ordinary match 3 games!

NA

Legends tell the one who climbs the tower will be granted a wish. Will you be the one to succeed?

NA

Climb the tower. Unravel your past. Find out more in the Tower Of Wishes

7.0

Toy Blast   Mobile

Play Toy Blast for hours of fun! Many toys and levels to enjoy.

NA

Go on a Match-3 adventure in France!

NA

Go on an epic match-3 quest in Greece!

NA

Go on a fabulous match-3 quest in Italy!

NA

Embark on a Match-3 adventure through ancient Egypt!

NA

Discover magical hidden treasure in this mystical Match-3 Persian adventure.

NA

Discover amazing Inca treasures in this entertaining match-3 adventure

NA

A fun and challenging pick three puzzle game.

NA

Danger! Danger! Gems ahead! Clear out the Gems fast, or your journey is over!

NA

An Island Lost in Time!

NA

Rack'em and Stack 'em match 3 action!

NA

Enjoy an exciting hunt and track down a notorious bandit!

NA

Save a Magic Kingdom after magical potion accidentally transforms the prince into a dragon.

NA

A unique and innovative Match3 game using playing cards!

NA

Be a puppy's hero!

NA

Help Alissa and Bunbun get back home in this sweet match-3 adventure!

8.0

Stop the colored balls from advancing in ancient temples!

9.0

Enjoy new Zuma gameplay with boss battles and big power-ups!


Learn About Match 3 Games

What are Match 3 Games?

Match 3 is a generic style of video or computer game, in which the player attempts to rearrange shapes or objects in a playing field in order to get three or more identical objects connected (sometimes in a row, otherwise just sharing a side), at which point they disappear and grant the player points. This rearrangement is done by exchanging the places of two tiles at a time, and, in recent variations, it is made more difficult by limiting the player to one move before “clearing” pieces. This means that a swap of two objects must result in a connection of three or more identical objects, or else the swap reverts itself.

The simple game concept works in Match 3’s favor. However, even though the games are easy to learn, all Match 3 games incorporate strategy, which is one reason they have maintained popularity with casual gamers. If a section of objects is cleared, the objects above take their place. The space at the top of the screen that would now be empty is instead filled with fresh pieces. If falling objects create new chains of three or more identical objects, those new chains clear, become points for the player, and again are replaced. Chains can continue indefinitely, and the strategies of getting a board overpopulated with one type of object and clearing objects from the bottom of the screen are worthwhile in nearly every version.

The History of Match 3 Games

The idea behind match 3 games can be seen in games like Columns (1989) and Tetris Attack (1996). Columns was a Tetris-style game, in which segments of three, vertical objects (generally different objects, though some sets could contain two or three of the same objects) would fall from the top of the screen downward. The player’s role was to cycle the objects as they fell and determine a landing point that would make a 3-or-greater series of objects likely. Objects could align vertically, horizontally or diagonally, and the third variant is what made Columns unique. Tetris Attack for the Super NES allowed only horizontal and vertical connections, and objects could only be rearranged in connected, horizontal pairs. Once rearranged, however, objects held their new position until cleared or moved again.

Bejeweled, created in 2001 by PopCap, is the longest standing in the modern incarnation of the Match 3 style.  The game started out as a free online game but due to its popularity, PopCap polished it up and released it as a shareware download.  The game’s massive popularity and financial success helped kick off the Casual Games revolution online and spawned sequels and many copies.

Iwin’s Jewel Quest (2004), expanded on Bejeweled’s Match 3 concept by incorporating a play mechanic used in PopCap’s Alchemy game.  Players need to make matches and when they do, parts of the game board behind those matches turns to gold.  The entire game board must be turned to gold before completing the level. Jewel Quest (and its sequels) feature a series of more than 100 levels per game, all connected by a geographical region, style, and adventure story. Players advance the story one puzzle at a time, giving a sense of completion and progress.

Puzzle Quest (2007) introduced an interesting variation to the Match 3 game model. The game involves an adventure story where you control a hero, travel through the land and accomplish tasks. When the hero battles enemies, the player and the computer engage in “combat” through the Match 3 system on the same game grid by taking turns. Each type of object matched and cleared becomes an attack or a statistic boost to help defeat the other player. This model has represented a new innovation on the classic match 3 system, and it allows players who may be interested in traditional adventure role playing games to experience them without all of the time that is normally necessary to play them and a new way to fight battles.

Who Will Like These Games?

Match 3 games are ideal for casual gamers. The typical match 3 game takes only minutes to learn and the games themselves require very little time-commitment. Game play usually only involves mouse clicking so a high level of coordination necessary in other games is not needed here.

Match 3 games are known for how catchy they can be.  They also promote pattern recognition skills as players need to be able to spot potential matches on the game grid.  There is also strategy in what you choose to match as that can cause chain reaction matches to produce bigger point totals.

If you are looking for a game that is easy to learn, difficult to master, and doesn’t require huge amounts of time to play, we can eagerly recommend you try out Match 3 games!