There’s no shortage of match-3 games in both the Google Play Store and App Store, as players looking to take up a game from this category are faced with an increasing choice. From the vast sea of match-3 titles comes a new game designed by Woonga which is called Switchcraft. This developer, which was acquired back in 2018 by mobile gaming giant Playtika, specializes in puzzle games and also behind titles such as June’s Journey and Pearl’s Peril.
When it comes to Switchcraft, the newcomer brings a breath of fresh air in the match-3 space with its engaging visuals and an immersive story that will unquestionably keep players hooked. The plot revolves around a young woman named Bailey Ward, who is studying in a small town in Massachusetts to become a witch. She attends the same magical academy as her best friend Lydia, who one day unexpectedly and mysteriously goes missing.
Distressed and angered by the fact that everyone around her seems to think that Lydia just ran away, Bailey sets out on a magical journey to bring her friend back. On the way she teams up with a slew of sidekicks including other students from the academy, professors and a bunch of other strange but unique characters.
Your ultimate goal in Switchcraft is to find Lydia and help her get back to the human realm. In order to do so, you’ll have to collect so-called Magicka Crystals and unlock story chapters. Another thing that makes Switchcraft stand out from other games in this genre, is that players are allowed to make choices that affect the narrative (for example, who to antagonize vs who to be friendly towards) while still being steered on the main plot.
To win Magicka Crystals and move the narrative forward, players will have to engage and successfully beat match-3 puzzle levels which as usual, start off quite relaxed. Later on, you might need a bit of skill to complete levels from the first try, which is where our Switchcraft beginner’s guide might come in handy. We’ve included a list of helpful tips and strategies that will hopefully get you all the Crystals you need to get at the bottom of Lydia’s disappearance.
1. Don’t Waste Your Moves
Match-3 levels in Switchcraft follow the classic pattern. Each comes with a specific goal to complete, and you have a number of moves at your disposal to help you reach that target. Fail to do so, and you’ll be forced to restart the level and you’ll also lose one of your five lives in the process.
Working towards the level objective entails creating matches of three or more tiles of the same color on the playfield. We encourage you to aim for larger matches always, as they will result in the creation of Boosters – helping tools that often facilitate hitting the level target.
Every move you make on the board is important, if you wish to win from the first try. Which is why you should really think them through. Don’t rush, there’s no timer on these puzzles, so you can take as long as you wish to figure out what to do next. If you wait longer than a few seconds to make your move, the game will make a suggestion in a bid to help. Don’t feel obligated to take that up, though. Actually, there are probably other more superior options scattered around, you just have to look for them.
How do you know which match to go for? Well, just look at the level objective. It’s shown on the left side of the display for you and you should pay very close attention to it.
This way you can avoid matching at random just for the sake of matching. Instead you should focus your efforts on creating matches that will help you achieve the level objective. For instance, if the target is to collect 17 Butterflies, you should make sure you’re looking at pieces that have butterflies on them and trying to match them into appropriate formations.
It’s also true that sometimes creating matches that includes tiles with butterflies might not be readily available. Then, it makes sense to try and get rid of the tiles standing in the way of creating a match with butterfly tiles. Try and think with a few moves in advance while asking yourself this – “removing which tiles will allow me to create a useful match?”.
If this tactic seems too complicated, you can always resort to the classic strategy of matching at the bottom. You can do so only if the lower part of the display is clear of any obstacles, so it might not always be an option. If it is, though, matching at the bottom usually brings tile cascades in from the top. These often result in spontaneous matching, and if you’re lucky in a few unexpected Boosters on your board, as well.
In conclusion, always be sure you match with a purpose, and not just for the sake of matching. Check the level objective before committing to a match so that you won’t end up wasting the move in vain. By doing so you also ensure that you keep your lives so that you can play for as long as you like.
2. How To Use Boosters Or Super Gems Most Effectively
As we explained above, larger matches create Boosters or Super Gems – like they are called in Switchcraft. Unlike mainstream match-3 games where you can activate Boosters either by double tapping on it or by swapping it with an adjoining tile, in Wooga’s latest game you’ll need to create another match using some of these power-ups in order to set them off. The match needs to include tiles of the same color as the Booster. Here are the power-ups you can make on the board while playing a level.
- Frog Gem – created when you match 4 gems in a square pattern. Once activated, the Super Gem will explode and destroy tiles in a “+” shape and then randomly jump to an objective and smash one last tile too.
- Line Gem – you can make one by matching 4 gems in either a row or column. When activated, the Super Gem will destroy a row or a column of tiles, depending on its direction.
- Bomb Gem – created by matching 5 gems in a T or L shape. Upon activation, the Super Gem will clear all nearby tiles and obstacle in a 3×3 tile radius.
- Rainbow Pearl – made by matching in either a straight vertical or horizontal line. Activate this Gem by swapping it with any tile on the board, no need to match it with other tiles. The effect will be that all gems of the same color as the tile you’ve swapped it with, will be destroyed.
- Coloring Potion – made by creating 6 gems in a T shape. Activate this Gem by matching it with any tile on the board, just like in the case of the Rainbow Pearl. When activated, it turns all the tiles of the same color as the one you swapped it with, the color of the Coloring Potion.
As you can see there are two Gems which don’t require matching to be activated. These are the most powerful of the bunch, so make sure you use them wisely. For instance, if you need to remove a tile of a certain color (let’s say orange) from the board as to allow a Fox to slide off the board and you have a Rainbow Pearl at your disposal, then try to swipe the Booster with a tile of that particular color (orange). It might not be possible immediately, and so you’ll need to get rid of a few tiles before getting the one you need next to your Booster.
At the same time, mixing Boosters is highly encouraged in this game. Doing so doesn’t require an additional match, so if you notice two power-ups next to each other you can quickly combine them for a strengthened effect. The good news is that you can just swap them together, no other step involved.
Effects vary, and some are stronger than others. For instance, the combination between a Bomb and Line Gem will eradicate three lines or column of tiles (depending on the Line’s direction) from the playfield. A double Bomb combo creates a larger explosion that will destroy a big number of tiles.
You can also mix the Rainbow Pearl with the other Boosters. This is another practical combination as the Pearl will multiply the Booster across the board replacing all the tiles the same color as the Booster with the said power-up.
Switchcraft levels are quite acceptable in terms of difficulty, and up until level 250 or so you shouldn’t have many troubles beating challenges without extra help. Then, things get a bit more complicated and you might have to replay certain levels a few times before finally besting them.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get things right from the first time around. Go ahead and replay it a few times, chances are you will be able to solve it sooner or later, without the aid of extra helpers. The Boosters you can make on the board should be enough to stir you in the right direction.
If you need more assistance later on, you can turn to the additional aids the game puts at your disposal. For starters, you also have the so-called pre-level Boosters which are power-ups that have to be equipped before a level starts. These include Double Frogs, Rainbow Pearl and Line + Bomb combo. We advise you to abstain from equipping these power-ups as you head into a level for the first time.
Try and see if you can beat the level on your own first and then come back if you failed and activate them. Pre-level Boosters ensure that you can start a level with one or more Boosters already formed and waiting for you on the board or they will offer a special perk. For instance, Double Frogs gives you two frogs for each Frog Gem.
Last but not least, players can also turn to Spells to get an extra advantage while playing. All they have to do is tap one of the cards located in the lower part of the display to unleash their effects.
- Enchanted Ivy – spreads across the board starting from a tile of your choice and destroys all tiles in a cross-shaped explosion.
- Magical Hand – swaps two adjacent tiles.
- Shooting Star – destroys a single tile or an obstacle of your choice.
None of these spells waste a move when cast, and our advice is to use them only when you’re super close to completing the level task, but need an extra push to finish the job. In this sense, these power-ups should be used as a last resort.
You can win Boosters like these by playing the game and unlocking the reward at the end of each chapter. At the same time, you can use coins to pay for extra power-ups, although we don’t recommend this course of action, as they are best spent somewhere else.
3. Be Active During Events
Speaking of getting more Boosters, sometimes an event will become available in Swithcraft. Unlike most match-3 games we’ve played so far, this one is not swarming with events of all kinds. Here, they are rather rare occurrences, and so it would be in your best interest if you could make the time to play whenever such an event is unfolding.
Events are excellent opportunities to grab more free Boosters. For instance, during “Focus Meditation” players are challenged to beat a level from the first try to maintain a win streak and then start the next level with Special Gems on the board. The amount increases from one to a total of 3, as you continue to be on a streak.
Having the extra Boosters on the board as you start the level, will maximize your chances of success. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to log into the game and play as much as possible during events. This might accelerate your progress and bring you closer to finding out what happened to Lydia.
4. Check Bailey’s Dorm For Extra Prizes
You can get your hands on more goodies by checking Bailey’s room regularly. To access her dorm, tap on the Dorm button at the bottom of the display while you’re visiting the game’s main menu. Here make sure you press on the black kitty lounging on the floor to get a daily gift bonus. This can consist of Boosters, cards or coins.
Speaking of cards, tap on the blue chest with a crest moon symbol on its lid to view Bailey’s card collections. Every time you complete one you’ll be rewarded with a nice chest filled with all sorts of goodies which obviously includes more power-ups. You can win cards by playing the game and unlocking progress rewards as you advance in the storyline.
Additionally, make sure you tap on the various items scattered around the room too. Some might offer the opportunity to win some additional prizes if you’re willing to watch a series of ads. For instance, the Magicka Plants yields various rewards each day including coins as well as Magicka Crystals (!).
Make sure you exhaust these opportunities every day. More and more items you can interact with will become available in Bailey’s dorm as you make progress in the game
5. Only Spend Coins On Extra Moves
Apart from the all-important Magicka Crystals, at the end of each level you also gain a sum of coins. What are these for you might be wondering? Well, as we explained in a previous section these can be used to buy things such as pre-level Boosters, but we certainly don’t encourage you to follow this path. Instead, you should save the money up as best you can.
While beating levels seems like a walk in the park at first, things become a lot more convoluted later on. It won’t be so easy to win anymore, and so you might be forced to resort to extra help. One of these options is paying for 5 extra moves at the end of a level. This costs 900 coins, which is pretty expensive, but if you saved up diligently since the beginning of the game you should have plenty to spare when the time comes.
Just make sure that you’re absolutely sure you can complete the level within 5 moves. If you’re not, or if you still have a lot to go before completing the level objective, it’s best that you opt to just restart the level. Yes, you’ll lose a life, but hopefully the next time around the outcome will be more favorable in your direction.
You shouldn’t worry all that much about lives though, you can buy more of those too using coins. Or you can wait until they get refilled automatically. You’ll have to take a time out from playing in the meanwhile, though. On the other hand, you can win countless free lives by making progress in the game and unlocking chests, so for the most part you should be okay in this department.
6. How To Deal With Special Elements / Obstacles
In this section we’re going to talk about some of the most common special elements you’ll encounter while playing Switchcraft. These tiles are usually part of the level objective and so you should always focus on removing them first from the board.
One rule applies for most of these elements – matching in their vicinity will remove them from the board which is what you want. But as we will see in what follows, not all function according to this pattern of behavior.
- Butterflies – these are perhaps the most common special element in Switchcraft. Butterflies will sit on top of some gems and it is your job to collect them. You can do so by creating matches using those tiles that have been visited by insects. Make sure to check the level objective constantly, while playing such levels, to see how many butterflies you have left on the playfield.
Sometimes they can hide behind other elements, so you’ll need to get rid of those first to reveal the insect-bearing tile. Once they are out in the open, strive to create matches using these tiles. If you can use a Booster or two on them, the collection process will go a lot faster.
- Moonstones – sometimes you’ll encounter levels which feature one or more Moonstones on the board. Match next to them until they are fully charged to reveal Moon Gems, which are collectable items (most of the times). When playing one of these levels, make sure not to ignore the Moonstone.
It’s easy to focus on the other elements included in the objective, and forget that you need to charge the Moonstone first to be able to release the Moon Gems. Booster use is encouraged since it will help you charge the Moonstone faster.
- Flowers – flowers are elements which need to be touched by water in order to be collected. On the other hand, water is an element that spreads. In order to carve a path for the water to reach the flowers, you’ll have to match next to a water tile to help it spread throughout the board.
Concentrate on flooding the board with water and don’t leave that tasks for later in the level. Employ the use of Boosters, which greatly helps with spreading the liquid.
- Foxes – represent another unique element. When they appear in a level, they need to be removed from the board. Depending on the orientation of the board, you’ll have to carve a path for them, until they fall off.
If the exit is blocked by several other elements, you should focus your efforts on removing them first or carve a path for them so that they can fall all the way to the bottom. Boosters such as Lines and Bombs are quite useful in this scenario, because they can clear a direct path for them.
- Clouds – clouds are elements which can be removed by creating matches next to them. These elements can hide other items underneath and so it’s recommended that you remove them as fast as possible. Use Boosters if you have to, it will speed things up considerably.
- Chains – chains keep pieces in one place. To free them, players have to match the gems inside the chains with other similar tiles. Chains act as blockades, so the sooner you can get them out of the way the better, as they can hinder access to some parts of the playfield. Throw in a Booster or two to clear the away, especially Frogs and Lines.
This wraps up our collection of tips and strategies that we have for you at this moment regarding Switchcraft. We hope that you’ve picked up a lot of useful tricks from this guide which will allow you to go through the match-3 levels with far more ease. If you have knowledge of any strategies we haven’t discussed in this guide, feel free to share it with us via the comment section below!