Setsuzoku no Puzzle
It could have been your average match-3 game, but no. This is “setsuzoku”, and you have to link them by pairs so that they disappear. Most of the tiles will require their exact match ( shape and color), while some others act as wildcards. Of course, there’s a catch: the link you create to remove two tiles may only take two turns.
It may sound a bit simple, but it would be a mistake to underestimate this French response to the gems and furballs you all know: almost every time I put setsuzoku-no-puzzle into someone’s hands I had to find an excuse to get my console back. And while, the ‘at most 2 turns’ rule may sound weird at first, it quickly becomes a habit.
Stravingo did an impressive job while polishing this game. From the slowly animated background, to the intermission screens, the sound effects, every little detail makes the screen a comfy virtual world so you can focus on your task, and keep linking tiles. The various feedback elements are also well designed, making the game rules about chains and bonuses easy to learn and to use at your advantage. And it was worth the effort since it allowed him to win the the GBA-NDS competition back in 2007.
Availability: free download, released in 2007