Puzzle Trooper: Making the puzzle/RPG accessible to the West



Last week game developers Kabam and Gumi launched their Puzzle Trooper game for a number of markets worldwide, on iOS and Android. The game is clearly very much influenced by the wildly successful Puzzle & Dragons, but it takes advantages of one key area where P&D could have done better: localization.

For Western users who play Puzzle & Dragons, including myself, it may take a while to grasp many of the game’s core concepts. I think that in the English version of the game, some things (like combo multipliers, orb manipulation, and knowing which elements are most effective against other elements) are not adequately explained to beginners. Check out my video below for a more visual comparison.

This is the best game ever from the Southeast Asia region

Developed by Gumi’s Singapore team, I think that Puzzle Trooper is very deliberately trying to do what Puzzle & Dragons overlooked in its localization, presenting that proven puzzle-RPG game model to global audiences in a manner which they can understand [1].

There are countless similarities with P&D, but the characters are completely different (and very much not in a Japanese style), presented as army troops that can be collected, enhanced, and evolved. I’ve been playing the game for a few days, and so far I really like it a lot. There is an interesting player-vs-player option where you can game with friends over Bluetooth, which looks fun. And the in-game text is pretty humorous, as are the fun character names.

So far the game has been made available to markets outside Japan, and it is currently number one in the role-playing category in Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, Russia, Brunei, and the Dominican Republic. I look forward to seeing how far this game can go now that Kabam is on board with Gumi. The company’s CEO Hironao Kunimitsu is pretty enthusiastic about the title, telling me that his Singapore team did a great job, adding “This is the best game ever from the Southeast Asia region.”

If you’d like to give it a try, you can get it for free over on the App Store.

  1. It should be noted that Puzzle Trooper has not launched in the Japanese market. So if anyone is wondering why GungHo is (apparently) not upset about a game that borrows so heavily from its hit game Puzzle & Dragons, perhaps that’s one of the main reasons. In any case, as much as I like Puzzle & Dragons, I think it’s good that Gumi can build a game like this one.  ↩