Tokyo-based developer Oink Games has soft-launched MUJO in the New Zealand and Singapore App Stores. I'm going to tell you why you should care about it.
MUJO is a free to play match-3 puzzler with a Greek myth theme. Matching three sword blocks is the most boring thing you can do in MUJO. In fact, you're encouraged to avoid it completely.
You see, you're battling knights, soldiers, and the likes of Medusa. The only way to attack them is by matching the red sword blocks.
Match three tiles and you'll attack with three damage - that's not much good when your have 1000+ health points to whittle down.
Pick up the sword
What you want to do, then, is to stack the sword blocks as that multiplies the attack damage they issue. Hold your finger on at least three matched blocks and they'll be compacted into a single, high-damage block.
Keep stacking these tiles and you can fairly easily get attack damage in the hundreds. The skills is in getting these high-numbered tiles together so that you pack a decent punch.
Saying that, you can also tap on any single or double tile and use the attack damage within them. Doing this, however, costs one of your lightning bolts.
You have 20 lightning bolts to start with but can purchase more for real money, if you wish. These bolts aren't necessary, though, and you still need to have skill to use them well.
There are also chests to match which will unlock characters from Greek history and mythology for you to use.
They all have different effects you can call upon at any time, such as randomizing all of the blocks in the board. They can also be levelled up by matching the other coloured blocks (birds, fish, and mammals) that they're tied to - this makes them more powerful.
The only negative of using these characters is that they have long cooldown timers that stop you from spamming them.
What really makes MUJO compelling, though, is how it varies up progression. Most of the time you'll be taking on knights that have higher and higher health points.
But, between these, you'll also take on a lion with regenerating health. Another example is Medusa, who must be beaten in 20 moves or less, otherwise you lose the level.
This is where the higher skill play of MUJO comes in. The standard levels are all beatable in time - there are no time limits or other ways to lose.
These special opponents challenge you in a variety of ways and you can lose at them. It feels like you come across them just as you might be starting to get a little tired of the game, too.
MUJO's challenging stacking mechanic and variety of challenges had me struggling to put it down. It's a compelling mixture.
You might have a similar reaction to it, even if you're not a fan of match-3 puzzlers, and that's due to its slight RPG influence.
We'll let you know when Oink Games releases MUJO on the worldwide App Store.