Go head-to-head in Capcom's new free 'Puzzle Fighter' mobile game

At the PAX West show in Seattle this week, Capcom announced a new installment in its classic Puzzle Fighter series. The free-to-play mobile title is coming to Android, iPhone, and iPad later this year. This latest version lets you swap tiles and collect Capcom characters to use in melee battles against the computer or other players.

The original Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo was released in 1996 and was an incredibly popular coin-op game that borrowed characters and music from the popular Street Fighter series and Darkstalkers games. Originally a PlayStation exclusive in the U.S., an HD remake version, titled Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, was released in 2007 on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

The new mobile version was built from the ground up by Capcom Vancouver, and it looks like there are many more characters from the Capcom universe to unlock. The game was available to play on the show floor at the Camcom booth, and some eager gamers gave it a try.

You start the game  by picking one main character, which has his or her own strengths and abilities. You also choose two additional characters that will supplement the skills of your main character. You can pick from “chibi” (literally, small, or miniature) versions of Capcom stalwarts such as Ryu, Ken, or Chun-Li (Street Fighter), Morrigan (Darkstalkers), Jill (Resident Evil), X (Mega Man), Dante (Devil May Cry), and Frank West or Chuck Greene (Dead Rising).

The game has plenty of hidden strategy, which made it a favorite among puzzle game aficionados. You can stealthily build up gems and then launch epic combos that can knock out your opponent. The new mobile version should make it easier than ever to find human opponents to challenge.

The developers are promising real-time player-versus-player gameplay on mobile devices, with all the action of head-to-head Puzzle Fighter on the go.

Apart from the two short teaser trailers, there aren’t many details about when the game will be available, though there is a promise of a “soft launch” in some countries soon, and a global release later in the year.

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