We love playing classic match-3 games online as much as the next group of gamers, but if you’re looking for something a little different in the free match-3 games arena, you can certainly find it. Thanks to tons of fan support over the past decade, this genre has expanded from simple candy or jewel-matchers to include some really interesting titles with plots that you might not expect. You can now earn powerups, compete with other players, and even play in tournaments! We’ll break down some of the best match-3 games in a moment, but first things first: what is this genre all about?
We’ll start with the obvious before breaking down all of the new and exciting developments. Match-3 games are all about creating opportunities for three of the same game pieces to be grouped together. Usually, games allow you to create larger groups as well. Once you’ve made the match, poof! A fun animation and/or sound effect lets you know that you’ve earned a nice burst of points. While this may sound super straightforward, as it was in the beginning, matching games are being upgraded in exciting and imaginative ways all the time. Check out our breakdown below to see what we mean.
Thanks to the explosive popularity of match-3 games online, you can now pick your favorite kind of matching game based on the below play styles.
Tile-Swapping: This was one of the earliest versions available in paid as well as free match-3 games. The screen is filled with colorful game pieces. You have to swap two neighboring pieces to create combinations of three and redeem points. Some matching games will allow you to swap pieces over a distance, but more often, they have to be touching in order to be swapped.
Tap-and-drag: In some match-3 games, you can even “pick up” a game piece and move it across the board to match it with others. This may sound way too easy, but oftentimes, you can only pick up certain pieces based on where they are located, and you often have to deal with time limits.
Connect-in-line:As you will see in two of our game recommendations below (Impossible 13 and Salazar the Alchemist), connect-in-line is highly addicting and satisfying. Tap (or click) and drag to connect pathways between two or three pieces. Usually, those pieces will be combined into a larger number or a higher quality game piece. Your objective is to get to a final number or game piece.
Tetris Style: Yup, that’s right. It may seem crazy, but you can even incorporate Tetris into match-3 games. When you think about it, all you have to do is change the requirement from a full horizontal line to a cluster of three or more of the same-colored piece. Here’s the challenging part, though: each piece is made up of several smaller pieces of a different color!
New versions of free match-3 games are being developed all the time, so keep your eye out if you’re a fan, because it’s a very exciting time! For both mobile and web, you can now access hundreds of free match-3 games with the click or push of a button. Let’s talk specifics, though. Which games are best to get started with?
We hand-picked these games because they highlight many of our favorite qualities of match-3 games. They are creatively and beautifully designed, just difficult enough, and high in replay value.
Mewtrix: Who wouldn’t be entertained by watching these brightly colored cats flip through the air like Neo from the Matrix movies? There’s no shortage of felines, either - they keep falling from the sky in true Tetris style, and it’s your job to get them organized. Arrange the pieces so that pink and blue are matched with each other, whether they are stacked horizontally or vertically. Move the pieces side-to-side, flip them around, and use everything at your disposal to group those colors together.
Impossible 13: If you’re more of a math person, you will love “crunching the numbers” in impossible 13, the free match-3 game that challenges you to achieve the “impossible.” Tap-and-drag to connect three of the same number in a line - it doesn’t have to be a straight line, so long as each piece is connected horizontally, vertically and/or diagonally to the next. Each time you match 3, you upgrade the three pieces into one of the higher number. Combine your way up to 13 and you’ve achieved the impossible!
We love Salazar the Alchemist because it adds a fun and spooky twist to the traditional match-3 format. Help our potion-brewing, spell-casting Salazar create the ultimate artifact by connecting groups of three or more ingredients. For each match you make, the ingredients will be upgraded to one of a higher quality. Once you’ve reached a high enough quality level, you will create the ultimate artifact! Just don’t ask him what it’s for…
As much as we would love to guide you through each and every element of the growing match-3 genre, you have to make the experience your own. Learn what you like, practice, and keep one-upping your high scores. Browse the best match-3 games at Kiloo and decide what your favorites are! Will you be a potion-brewing dungeon master or a fan of flying felines? The choice is yours! Good luck, and happy matching.