While the match-three puzzle genre comes in many themes and designs on Facebook, many offer a solely single player experience. With Kobojo's newest offering Tiki Blocks, we see multiplayer gameplay being thrown into the mix, as you work to earn more points in timed matches against friends and strangers alike.
The match-three play here is that found in games like Diamond Dash, rather than Bejeweled. That is, you'll simply click on groups of three or more like-colored gems, rather than actually swapping tiles to make matches. This eliminates the ability to earn automatic combos, as gems won't explode even if they fall into groups of other matching tiles, but you can earn combo points manually by simply making matches in rapid succession.
While you'll mainly focus on your own game board in Tiki Blocks, each session sees you competing against another player to earn as many points as possible in 60 seconds. You can activate randomly appearing star and bomb tiles to clear large sections of the board at once, and can activate lightning mode if you make enough matches without clicking on a non-matching group of tiles by accident. Again, these are all single-player elements, but you just so happen to be splitting the screen with another player.
Gallery: Tiki Blocks on Facebook
There are ways to add more punch to the game, but these cost coins which can be earned by either playing the game or by purchasing them with real money. You may be able to add additional time to the clock that your opponent doesn't have, for instance, but free coins are earned so slowly that you'll only be able to purchase one or two power-ups before running out of coins and beginning the long process of earning them back all over again. Progress is made even slower by the energy system that limits how many sessions you can play at one time.
If we could freely compete as much as we wanted in Tiki Blocks (without paying real money for energy, that is), the game would be so much more entertaining, and it feels like Kobojo is really shooting itself in the proverbial foot there. Sure, it's understandable that a company wants to make money on items like coins and energy, but with such a limited amount of time available each time you begin Tiki Blocks, how long will it take the average user to forget the game exists altogether?
As it stands, Tiki Blocks is an entertaining, competitive match-three puzzle game that deserves a look, but definitely isn't without its fundamental design errors. Luckily, the game is (obviously) free to play, so you have no real reason to not test the game out for yourself.
Click here to try Tiki Blocks on Facebook --->
Have you tried Tiki Blocks or another match-three multiplayer game on Facebook? Which game does head-to-head match-three play the best? Sound off in the comments!