Following a short period of beta testing, Capcom's Puzzle Fighter had its global launch on Android devices earlier this month, coming in the form of a free-to-play game compatible with the vast majority of contemporary smartphones and tablets. Originally announced in late summer, Puzzle Fighter was envisioned as a combination of a fighting game and a block-match puzzler, much like its name implies. While its gameplay may not be entirely unique, its cast of characters certainly is, being advertised as one of the game's main selling points. Puzzle Fighter players will hence be able to control the likes of Dead Rising's Frank West, X from Mega Man, Chun-Li, Ryu, Ken, and E. Honda from Street Fighter, and Resident Evil's Jill Valentine.
Its very nature makes Puzzle Fighter a nostalgia trip, albeit not an unprecedented one, with the Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo dating back to 1996 and Sony's original PlayStation console, as well as classic arcade machines. Despite having a "II" in its title, that game is actually the original that started the series, having been named to mock Super Street Fighter II Turbo, another popular release from the mid-'90s. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix later made its debut on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2007, making the new Puzzle Fighter the third entry in the franchise.
From a gameplay perspective, not much has changed in the last two decades, with tile-matching still being the name of the game, albeit with significantly improved visuals and a dose of microtransactions. In-app purchases don't appear to be too aggressive, at least in the opening half an hour of the mobile game. A pure free-to-play playthrough seems to be possible but you might have to grind for some characters given how new ones are unlocked through loot boxes, currently a rather controversial mechanic in the gaming industry due to the backlash received by EA's Star Wars Battlefront II. Despite having a fair share of single-player content, Puzzle Fighter requires a constant Internet connection, though the data it uses appears to be rather minimal and shouldn't affect your monthly bill. An 87MB download is required after first starting the game which is officially compatible with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and later versions of Google's operating system.